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Jermaine Gresham (born June 16, 1988 in ) is an American football tight end for the University of Oklahomamarker Sooners. He is considered a top prospect for the 2010 NFL Draft and named "the most dynamic tight end at Oklahoma since Keith Jackson."

Early life

Born to Walletta Gresham and Jerry Williamson, he has four brothers and two sisters. He went with his mom, a nursing aide, when she moved from Ardmore to Wichita Falls, Texasmarker in 1997. He hated Wichita Falls and begged to go back to Ardmore, so after one year of elementary school in Texas, his mom let him move back in with his father. He liked basketball better than football until Ardmore High football coach Mike Loyd started telling him he would be unique as a wide receiver/tight end at 6′6″ or 6′7″ during his freshman year. At that height he would be just another basketball player, but would stand out as a football player.

High school career

Football

Gresham was a high school standout at wide receiver from Ardmore High School in Ardmore, Oklahomamarker.

During his sophomore year he helped the Tigers go 10-2, had the game clenching 29-yard touchdown in a 13-0 win against Adamarker, a 28-yard game sealing touchdown against Altusmarker to win 21-8, and 168 yards receiving on six catches, including a 74-yard touchdown pass, in a 23-16 loss to Shawneemarker, He finished the season with 11-touchdowns on 26-receptions, and was named "Best receiver" by the Daily Oklahoman for the 2003 season.

His senior year he had 70 catches for 1,175 yards and 24 touchdowns and was named to the Parade All-American team. Helped the Tigers go 12-0 before losing in the 5A state semifinals to Bixbymarker. In the quarter-final win over Cowetamarker, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee.

Had 148 career catches and was ranked as the No. 34 overall prospect in 2005 by rivals.com.

Basketball

He was also an outstanding basketball player before giving it up after the ACL knee injury, and to pursue his career in football as an Oklahoma Sooner.

Gresham started on the Ardmore basketball team as a 6′4″ freshman center. He averaged 10.1 points-per-game (PPG) and 6.7 rebounds-per-game (RPG) on a team led by senior point guard Lionel Brown. The Tigers made it all the way to the 2003 Class 5A state final against Oklahoma City John Marshall, losing 50-46, to a team led by J. R. Giddens. The John Marshall victory avenged a 68-58 loss to Ardmore in the area championship just a week earlier.

The Ardmore Tigers returned to the Class 5A boys basketball final game for 2004, but lost to the Oklahoma City Southeast Spartans, 60-55, and finished with a 25-3 record. Ardmore led 52-42 with 4:39 to play, but turnovers by Ardmore and three-pointers by Southeast put the Spartans on a 18-3 run to win the title. Gresham (as a sophomore) led the team with an 11.8 PPG season average, added 7.5 RPG, and had 17-points and 15-rebounds in the championship final game. Gresham was named to the Class 5A First team at center, and "Best bench player", averaging 16.3 PPG for the state tournament. He and teammate Rodney Fuller were named to the All-Southern Conference basketball team for 2003-2004.

As a junior he helped lead his team to the 2005 Class 5A state tournament semifinals with a 17.3 PPG season average, losing to Tulsa Washington High Schoolmarker 71-61 (a team that included Felix Jones). In the game Gresham stole the ball and dunked it making the score Tulsa Washington-37 Ardmore-34 with 5:25 left in the third quarter, but he was penalized with a technical foul for hanging on the rim. This sparked Tulsa Washington to a 17-6 run to end the quarter at 54-40, and Ardmore never got any closer than nine (with 26 seconds remaining) the rest of the way. He averaged 26.5 points-per-game (PPG) in the state tournament his junior season and was named to the Class 5A Boys All-Tournament First Team, including a career-high 39-points in a quarterfinal 78-74 win over Oklahoma City John Marshall. For the season he shot 62 percent from the field, averaged 10.2 rebounds, had 21 points, 27 rebounds and 11 assists against Tulsa's Nathan Hale in a regional final, was named All-State second team (all classes), and was named the starting center to the Class 5A All-State team. He was also named the Southern Conference Boys' Player of the Year.

He didn't play his final year; at the end of the football season (after tearing his ACL in the next to last game against Coweta, but playing hurt in the final game against Bixby), and start of the basketball season, he underwent surgery December 9, 2005, that ended his senior basketball season.

College career

As the top rated tight end and the number 34 overall prospect by Rivals.com for the 2005 season, Gresham received interest from many top college football programs, including the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Miami Hurricanes, LSU Tigers, USC Trojans, Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. National analyst Jeremy Crabtree of Rivals.com called Gresham a "slam-dunk" prospect along with Oklahoma City Southeast defensive lineman Gerald McCoy. He only made three recruiting visits; the first to USC, which he said was "too Hollywood" for him, Miami, and Oklahoma. Gresham was also going to visit LSU on January 20, 2006, but at the last minute Les Miles reportedly withdrew a scholarship offer.

He really liked the tradition of tight ends at Miami (Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow Jr.), as well as the camaraderie and closeness of the players there, but in the end it came down to being close to family and friends. His mother, Walletta, would have a hard enough time getting to Norman to see him play. He also loved the way his Oklahoma recruiters, Kevin Sumlin and Jackie Shipp, interacted with their own families. He signed with the Sooners on February 1, 2006, the National Letter of Intent day.

College statistics

Source: Espn.com

YEAR REC YDS AVG LNG TD
2006 8 161 20.1 41 1
2007 37 518 14.0 43 11
2008 66 950 14.4 73 14


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