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Cummings talks triumph at children's learning center
July 14, 2010Southeastern Conference
MAXTON - It may not have the same impact as a Michael Jordan being cut from his high school basketball team, but the New York Jets' Kenwin Cummings has a similar story.
While addressing a group of children at the 21st Century Community Learning Center in Maxton, Cummings and his mother, Darlene, related the story that he was cut from his middle school team as a sixth grader. The pair hoped the story of Cummings battling back from this minor setback would resonate with his audience.
Cummings went on to play at Purnell Swett, earned All-America honors at Wingate University and is now the talk of Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Cummings was highlighted during Ryan's live chat about the upcoming season.
"The guy that's really jumped out at me is Kenwin Cummings," Ryan said. "He's put on about five pounds of muscle and looks more athletic."
"It's amazing he's pointing me out," Cummings said. "That builds your confidence. It's always good, especially when you hear it coming from the head coach."
After spending the 2008 season on the Jets' practice squad, Cummings made his NFL debut last season on the biggest stage - the NFL playoffs. Cummings played on special teams in his team's 24-14 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
"Coming out of the tunnel in front of 70,000 fans was a special feeling," Cummings said about facing the Bengals. "It's a rush, you always live for."
The third-year pro knows he will go into the 2010 season as a backup to David Harris and Bart Scott, but knows he will be looked to perform in other areas.
"The team said I will have a huge role on special teams," Cummings said. "I know I have to contribute on special teams and be the No. 1 guy."
Even though Harris and Scott are ahead of Cummings on the team's depth chart, Cummings said both have been anxious to tutor him.
"David and Bart have really coached me up," Cummings said. "They've probably coached me more than Rex and Bob Sutton, my position coach."
Cummings admitted one of his biggest fears when he was trying to make the Jets was making a mistake, but said Scott offered him a piece of advice.
"He told me to not think about it," Cummings said. "He told me to go out there and go at it 100 percent. Even if I made a mistake as long as it is at 100 percent I will be able to make up for it."
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