SSU football player redefines student athlete

SSU football player redefines student athlete

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Extracting bottle nose dolphin DNA for a summer internship doesn't sound like something you envision a college football player doing, is it?

A senior on the Savannah State football team is giving new meaning to the phrase student athlete.

Kris Drummond's football IQ matches his actual IQ. He's been an influential player for the Tigers for the past three years as a tight end, and when he's not on the team, he can be spotted at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.

Drummond has a summer internship there where he is studying bottle nose dolphin DNA.

"Our project involves looking at bacterial communities associated with bottle nose dolphins," said SKIO graduate student Kevin McKenzie said. "Tissue specimens to be analyzed to figure out which bacteria's are found and associated with these tissues."

Confused? Drummond isn't.

Dumb jock is a thing of the past. Today, athletes like Drummond are making just as much out of a degree as they are of their NCAA playing careers.

"When I was looking at potential schools, I saw that Savannah State had a good Marine Science program, and I wanted to do something that I was passionate about," said Drummond. "I was going to pick a career it would be something that I loved, so I just combined football and Marine Science."

Drummond's day starts early and ends late, with 6 a.m. workouts followed by a full work day, an opportunity to lead by example.

"Hopefully it will help me become a better leader, just by showing other players that I have the potential and I can handle everything that I have to do," he said.

"He has potential NFL ability," said SSU Head Football Coach Earnest Wilson. "When it comes to athletics, he's always there on time, lifting and running. That's the type of kid you want."

His diligence hasn't gone unnoticed. Work came calling this spring in Hawaii, and know that Drummond would miss a week of practice, Wilson didn't hesitate and let him go.

"People have to understand that football is an extension of one's education," said Wilson. "I just want these young men, when they go away from here, to say they had a great experience."

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