- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Before training camps kick off, a number of players and some coaches will pay tribute to people who helped them make it to the NFL as part of the AFC South Blog’s summer series: “Early Influence.”
Kassim Osgood, Jaguars special-teamer and receiver
“My older brothers, Tresean and Chayin, and one of their good friends who was one of our neighbors, Terrence Chambers. We’d always play a little two-on-two tackle football at our apartment complex growing up. Me being the smallest and the youngest, a lot of times it took extra effort and a little more determination for me to make my way.
“My brothers always encouraged me, told me I had the talent and I was good and Terrence always told me, ‘Yeah, you can be just like Michael Irvin, you can be just like Thurman Thomas.’ I always told him, ‘I’m going to be Kassim Osgood and I’ll be in the NFL one day.”
“They loved kidding me but at the same time, they were always encouraging me to continue to work hard and play hard. Playing with those guys, I always knew what it was like to be out of your comfort zone.
“I get phone calls and text messages from them telling me to continue to push hard. They know that I want to be a wide receiver, or have a more active role on offense, so they always remind me, ‘You had to go against guys that were way bigger than you … so continue to remember that and have that hunger and passion and drive.’”