Seahawks star receiver Jermaine Kearse dominated basketball and track in HS

Seahawks star receiver Jermaine Kearse dominated basketball and track in HS

Athlete Look Back

Seahawks star receiver Jermaine Kearse dominated basketball and track in HS

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Seattle Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse was a three-sport star in high school. / USA Today Sports

Seattle Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse was a three-sport star in high school. / USA Today Sports

Before Michael Jordan was making Bryon Russell fall with a killer crossover and draining the go ahead jumper to win his sixth NBA title with the Chicago Bulls, Jordan was a skinny, determined athlete dominating the competition at Laney High (Wilmington, N.C.).

Before Adrian Peterson was trucking opposing defenses and racking up 2,097 yards in a single season for the Minnesota Vikings he was shining bright under the Friday night lights at Palestine High (Palestine, Texas), averaging 12 yards a carry and scoring 32 touchdowns.

Before any athlete can become legendary they have to lay their foundation in the high school ranks.

Each week I’ll chat with a high-profile athlete’s former coach, mentor, family member, etc., and reminisce about their high school playing days; everything from the greatest moment to the wackiest story.

This week I caught up with Seattle Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse’s high school coach at Lakes (Tacoma, Wash.) Dave Miller.

Jason Jordan: What’s your best memory of Jermaine on the field in high school?

Dave Miller: His senior year our first game we got to play at CenturyLink Field and it was his first game since the passing of his father and it was a really tough game. He ended up scoring the game-winning touchdown in that game and he just pointed up toward the heavens as if to say, “This is for you dad.” It was such a memorable moment and it’s something I’ll never forget. It’s especially cool now that he’s scoring touchdowns for the Seahawks in that same end zone.

JJ: What’s your best memory of Jermaine off the field?

DM: Just the day-to-day interactions we had. He’s probably the best player I’ve ever had at not getting too up or too down; you saw that against Green Bay, obviously. He was always a positive leader around our school; never in to drama. He made other people better on and off the field. He was honestly a coach’s dream.

JJ: What’s something fans would be shocked to know about Jermaine?

DM: When he came in as a freshman he had talent but he was 5-foot-10, 145 pounds and a lot of our freshman coaches didn’t think he’d amount to much. The work ethic was always there though. In a lot of ways he made himself into a great athlete.

JJ: What’s the craziest story you can recall from his recruitment?

DM: It got pretty crazy between Oregon and Washington during his recruitment and Oregon was having a lot more success at the time. I think it showed a lot for Jermaine to stay home and go to Washington. He wanted to be a part of rebuilding that program back. While he was there he went to three bowls in four years.

JJ: Word is he was dominant in basketball and track in high school too?

DM: Oh definitely. He was really, really good in basketball. Our team took second in the state his junior year and I think they actually would’ve won had he not fouled out, that shows you how good he was. I also coached him for four years in track and he was a 47 foot triple jumper and a 10.7 100-meter guy. He was a great three-sport athlete!

JJ: When you saw Russell Wilson’s pass coming on that last play in overtime against the Packers did you “know” it was a catch?

DM: Oh yeah! I was so happy that he had the opportunity to make a play for his team to win the game. I knew things hadn’t gone the way that he would’ve hoped, but for him to maintain his belief in his team and himself was special. I actually had a few tears at the end of that one.

JJ: What is Jermaine’s ceiling in the NFL?

DM: Well, first I think it’s such a dream come true to be a hometown kid that plays high school, college and professional in the same area. For a guy to come in as an undrafted free agent and start out on special teams and now in his third year he’s making plays as a starting receiver. I think he’s solidified himself as a long-time member of, hopefully, the Seahawks, but in the NFL I could see him having a 10, 12, 14-year career.

JJ: Who wins the Super Bowl?

DM: Man it’s gonna be tough picking against the Seahawks after that one, but they’ve got a tough draw with New England! Still, I’ve gotta go with Seattle in a close one. I’m saying 35-31.

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

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Seahawks star receiver Jermaine Kearse dominated basketball and track in HS
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