Rookie Justin Seavers

inFINSible

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Rookie Justin Seaverns

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Posted on Sun, Jun. 23, 2002

'Some of the other rookies already think I'm a little odd' -- Justin Seaverns
HAVEN'T GOT TIME FOR THE PAIN
Even losing part of a finger in college hasn't stopped the drive of rookie linebacker Seaverns
BY JASON COLE
jcole@herald.com

So, what would you do if a chunk of your body was ripped away during a football game?

Make it a part of your pinkie, say from the last knuckle down.

Dolphins offensive lineman Leon Searcy grimaces a bit at the question, wondering where it came from before providing an answer.

''I'd probably try to keep playing,'' Searcy said, although he didn't sound too sure.

Cornerback Patrick Surtain would play -- in only one scenario.

''If it was the Super Bowl, I'd stay in,'' he said. ``Anything short of that, no.''

Then comes linebacker/special teams ace Twan Russell.

''I think I'm tough,'' he said. ``I've played with a lot of [stuff]. But you cut my finger off, I'm hanging up the cleats for the day. At least for the day. I got to bury the little tip of the finger.''

Two years ago, Justin Seaverns, then a junior, faced the situation while playing for Appalachian State against Furman.

It was a big game, but obviously well short of Surtain's Super Bowl standard.

Seaverns, an undrafted rookie linebacker with the Dolphins, had the end of his left pinkie severed when it was crushed between one helmet and the face mask of another. Seaverns came to the sideline thinking he had ripped the nail off the finger.

But when he looked closer, the bone had cut through the skin and his glove, and the tip was hanging at the end of the finger sleeve.

''The trainer just kind of stood there looking at it, not sure what to do,'' said Brian Mower, Seaverns' college teammate and close friend.

'Then Justin says, `Well, are you going to tape it up so I can get back in there?' ''

Seaverns' parents, Robin and Richard, who were in the stands, didn't find out until after the game when teammates told them their son had been taken to the hospital.

They hurried to the hospital and were told their son could have the end of the pinkie reattached, which would cost him the rest of the season and take months to heal, if it worked at all.

Or he could have what remained of the finger cleaned up and continue to play that season, living with the disfigurement.

''Just cut it off,'' Robin Seaverns said.

``It's just a little tip of the finger.''

Robin Seaverns swears she is not draconian. She just understands her son.

''When they're telling him he's not going to play football for a year, that's not an option,'' she said.

``It's not a leg we're talking about. . . . He wouldn't have been able to play for a year and I would have to deal with that, which would be much more painful than the finger.''

TRYING TO `FIT IN'

Seaverns' chances of making the team will depend on how good he is on special teams and how the Dolphins backup linebackers, such as veterans Scott Galyon and Tommie Hendricks, perform during training camp.

However, the Dolphins were intrigued by Seaverns after the draft, giving him a three-year contract instead of only a two-year deal when Indianapolis tried to sign him.

The Dolphins haven't started hitting each other in training camp, but teammates have pegged Seaverns as top loon to watch this year.

On his first day in late April, Seaverns walked into the locker room in camouflage shorts. Coupled with his long brown hair that he sometimes ties back in a ponytail, it was only a matter of minutes before he was nicknamed ''William Wallace,'' Mel Gibson's character from Braveheart.

''Some of the other rookies already think I'm a little odd,'' he said.

``That's not a good sign. I'm trying to fit in. For once in my life, I'd like to fit in, but I just can't. Things I think are normal, nobody else does.''

That starts with his pinkie, but extends a long way. There was the time he threw a guy over a table at a college party for being a smart aleck. The two met again at another party a week later and the smart aleck tried to exit.

'He's like, `I'm the one you got into a fight with before.' '' said Seaverns.

'I said, `Well, why'd you even try? You were going to get beat up.' He was like, 'Well, I . . .' I said, 'No, that's just the way it's going to be.' I don't mean to, but I'm very honest, very outspoken.''

DAD'S A TOUGH GUY

Richard Seaverns spent 22 years in the Marine Corps and ran ''a pretty tough training program'' for Justin after his son said he wanted to play football. Justin, who has an older sister and two younger brothers, is more blunt.

''I'm crazy, but that SOB, he's [messed] up. That SOB is tough,'' Seaverns said.

Among the drills was a three-mile run that Seaverns would have to do in the Georgia summer heat with 40 pounds of metal in a Marine Corps backpack.

''That was awful,'' Seaverns said.

''He never missed doing it, never complained,'' Richard Seaverns said.

The two get along, a sense of mutual respect for their strong-willed styles.

''My dad explains it to most people this way,'' Seaverns said. 'My little brother, Ian, he's a senior in high school. My dad said the difference is that my brother, he'll knock your [butt] out, but he'll give you a hand up and say, `Nice play.' Justin, he'll knock your [butt] out, kick you in the head on the way up and throw grass in your face.''

Richard Seaverns agrees, but he is not a man impressed merely by physical strength. When Seaverns got involved in wrestling, his father read books on the sport and videotaped matches to help his son learn.

When Seaverns was a junior, he wrestled most of the season with a hyperextended elbow, a painful injury that opponents attacked constantly.

Seaverns learned to compensate and dealt with the pain.

Likewise, when Seaverns severed part of his finger, his dad was told that many people go through a period of depression when they lose a limb or other body part.

'I said, `Son, are you OK with this?' He said he was fine,'' Richard Seaverns said.

``But we just wanted to make sure.''

So as the Seavernses traveled around the country to watch their son play over the final weeks of that season, the remainder of the finger traveled with them in the refrigerator of the motor home.

You have to be tough just to stomach that idea.
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This is my kinda guy, attitude wise, What is the book on him?Size? wieght? SPEED?
That last part, where his father showed so much concern over his lost pinkie, had me tearing up a bit......

DAD: ARE YOU OKAY WITH THIS SON?!?!!?

JS: SIR,YES SIR!

DAD: GOOD!

That's tear-jerker material there, they need to make it into a movie....no ....wait, they already did....It was called Full Metal Jacket!!!:lol: :lol:
 
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scotgif

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Sounds like a real tough SOB. Don't know what chance he has(probably very slim), but you like the toughness. Too bad he's not an OL'man.
 

WharfRat

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Iron Man

Reminds me of another Tough Guy that would play through injuries like broken noses, fingers etc... I remember a comment once by Paul Warfield after a game, he was saying how during the 3rd qtr, they were in a huddle, and he looked down at his shoes to find red spots apprearing on his white cleats... he looked over at the guy next to him and said something like .. Yo Larry, your nose is bleeding on my shoes! The Csonk looked over at him and replied matter of factly "Yeah...it's broke again...sorry about the shoes" Larry Csonka played the rest of the game bleeding all over everyone, and didn't have that nose tended to until after the game... one where he ran for over 100 yds...
This is the type of guys we need on this team again... can't break them!!
I hope he makes it... now I gotta keep an eye on him....:eat:
 

scotgif

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Now I am not trying to demean this guy at all, but remember Grey Rugamer? They said this guy was a BMNSOB( big, mean, nasty, SOB). He would bite off sheep's b***s with his teeth. Doesn't mean he can play pro football. Honestly, I will pull for him now though.
 
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Iron Man

Seaverns is even more nuts then a former Dolphins LB from a few years back named Mike Crawford. The guy is obviously tough though. We need more tough guys like him on the team.
 

Den54

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Damn Straight!!!!

Originally posted by Iron Man
Seaverns is even more nuts then a former Dolphins LB from a few years back named Mike Crawford. The guy is obviously tough though. We need more tough guys like him on the team. [
/QUOTE]

Does anyone know his measurables?
 

inFINSible

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Hey 87, any way to fix the typo in the thread title....I edited it the first day but the spelling stayed the same on the title...:confused:

It's making me look stupid.....and I don't need any help doing that.
 
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