By Max Harper
Jason Kelce will be at center tonight for the Eagles against the Giants in their divisional playoff game at the Linc.
He may play another year, and he may not.
But whenever he retires, five years later he will be elected to the Hall of Fame.
The wisdom that Kelce has acquired that has brought him to the heights of this brutal business is best encapsulated by these words, given to him by his grandfather and recounted by the Washington Post:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On!’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
“That quote really hit me in the face,” Kelce said.
“It’s not over until you say it’s over. A lot of times, the people who end up making it are the people who just stick with it and have the perseverance to make it through adversity.”
The hesitation Kelce felt about his future evaporated. He walked on at Cincinnati as a linebacker. Coaches converted him to center. He earned a scholarship and became a starter. At the urging of offensive line coach Howard Mudd, who recognized his uncommon athleticism, the Eagles took Kelce in the sixth round of the 2011 draft.