By Mary Cunningham
Penn State tight end Jesse James will be making the most of his time at next week’s NFL Combine — raising money to fight kidney cancer.
James will be running a PLDGIT campaign where every bench press repetition he performs at the NFL Combine will raise research funds in support of kidney cancer research – the chosen rare disease of the Penn State chapter.
Fans can support James and the Uplifting Athletes Penn State Chapter by visiting the Jesse James: Reps For Research fundraising page here.
“All my best friends are the guys who are running the chapter and I really enjoyed helping Uplifting Athletes and the Penn State Chapter,” said James. “The guys who did all the work, we bonded together and became close. And just because I’m not there anymore it doesn’t mean I don’t support them.”
James shouldn’t have any issue raising plenty of money at the combine. During Penn State’s Lift for Life event earlier this year, James bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times. That mark would have given James the third best performance at the 2014 Combine. Only nine tight ends have benched the 225 pound weight more than 27 times at the NFL Combine since 2006.
“Uplifting Athletes helped me a lot, it helped me build a foundation and put things into a difference perspective,” said James, who is training for the combine in California. “This will help the guys at Penn State reach their fundraising goals this year. So even though I’m not there anymore, I want to continue helping in whatever way I can.