COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – There is a big man from Columbus who was a pro football prospect when he left the city on a full scholarship.
He turned pro all right, just not in the uniform he expected.
Columbus police officer Jason Sekinger is 6 feet, 9 inches tall and was the big man on campus at Westland High School in 2005.
“I was always bigger than everybody else, so I started playing football and had a talent for it,” Sekinger said. “Back then, I was probably pushing 330 (pounds).”
He was offered a full scholarship to play offensive tackle at the University of Minnesota, with the goal of making it to the NFL always in the back of his mind.
Due to health issues – a ruptured disc in his back — he never played a down for the Gophers and ended up transferring to Akron to be closer to home.
With his football pan gone, it was on to plan B: a business degree.
“So, when I got home, I started working at Nationwide and I was in the business,” Sekinger said, but he still felt the loss of the camaraderie football brought him.
He had a friend who was a cop in Columbus who took him on a ride-along.
“I remember sitting in roll call and saying, ‘This is what I want to do,’” Sekinger said. “It felt like sitting in a locker room and I was like, ‘This is what I was missing.’”
He’d found his locker room.
“Before I got to the academy, they said, ‘You got to blend in,’ and I was like, ‘There’s no way I can blend in.’ They nicknamed me Bull from Night Court.”