• 41°

NFL Draft: UNC’s Quinn lands on his feet in St. Louis

By R.B. Fallstrom
Associated Press
ST. LOUIS ó James Quinn recalled with amusement the time when his young son, Robert, pined for a career as a professional skateboarder. NFL aspirations came later.
ěFor real, thatís what he talked about. ëDad, Iím going to be a professional skateboarder,íî James Quinn said Friday. ěI said ëOK, Iíve got you.í I had his back.î
After his 6-foot-5, 265-pound son raise a No. 1 jersey at his introductory news conference Friday with the St. Louis Rams, both parents noted with pride that Robert eventually made the right call. In sports and in life.
The former North Carolina defensive end was the 14th overall pick on Thursday despite playing only two seasons in college and despite the circumstances of his early departure. The 20-year-old Quinn was declared permanently ineligible by the NCAA last fall for receiving improper benefits, including jewelry and travel accommodations.
Quinn started both seasons in college and had 11 sacks and six forced fumbles his sophomore season. He was considered one of the top pass rush prospects even without a junior season, but no doubt dropped several slots.
Both of Quinnís parents said their son learned the hard way to do a better job of picking the company he kept. Maria Quinn called Robert ěmy big teddy bear.î
ěHe learned not to hang with the wrong crowd,î Maria Quinn said. ěHe was hanging with the wrong crowd and not listening. But he learned, trust me.î
Robert Quinn showed growth declining an invitation to New York for the draft and stayed home to celebrate with family and friends. A large crowd gathered at a local restaurant to wait for the pick.
ěI had, I donít know, 150 or so people with me,î Quinn said. ěHearing my name called, hearing them cheering, it was definitely worth it.î
Defensive end is a strength for the Rams, with James Hall getting 10.5 sacks last season and Chris Long adding 8.5 in a breakout season at left end. Robert Quinn played exclusively right end in college and figures to be the heir apparent to the 34-year-old Hall.
General manager Billy Devaney said of the small group of players the Rams had to choose from, Quinn had by far the highest grade. The Rams also were impressed during Quinnís visit to St. Louis a few weeks ago.
When Quinn checked his cell phone Friday morning, there were welcoming text messages from Long, quarterback Sam Bradford and middle linebacker James Laurinaitis, and he met with Hall Friday afternoon. Coach Steve Spagnuolo made the telephone call to inform Quinn he was a Ram.
ěI just put a smile on my face. There was a whole bunch of tears of joy,î Quinn said. ě
James Quinn ran the high hurdles in the 1984 Olympic Trials for Baptist College. He gave up on an NFL career when he broke an ankle in high school.
ěIt was one of my dadís old childhood dreams to play in the pros, so I guess he gets to live it through me now,î Quinn said. ěIím hoping I can keep that smile on his face.î

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds