Jason Kelce might look like one of the most menacing offensive linemen in the NFL, but it hasn’t always been that way.
The older brother of Kansas City Chiefs star Travis is well-known for his impressive facial hair, but once upon a time he was a fresh-faced college player trying to make it to the pros.
Before he became an NFL star – likely to go down as one of the greatest in his position ever – Jason grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, before eventually enrolling at the University of Cincinnati, where Travis also played.
The Eagles man initially played as a running back before switching to the offensive line where he played nine games in 2007.
Kelce played left guard as a sophomore for the Bearcats, helping the team make the Orange Bowl in 2008. He finally moved to center for his final year in college as Cincinnati made it to the Sugar Bowl.
Back then, though, Kelce looked almost unrecognisable compared to today.
He was selected in the sixth round by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2011 draft and his NFL headshot from that time shows a baby faced rising star itching to get started.
He traded that for a huge bushy beard, but insisted that was unmatainable.
“It’s not really feasible to have a rough-type beard like that,” he told GQ.
“But I was a rookie in the beard game back then.”
As a pro, Kelce has made six Pro Bowls and has been named First-team All-Pro five times.
He also won Super Bowl LII and made it to last year’s showpiece which he lost to brother Travis and the Chiefs.
Despite the loss, Jason is still the highest-paid center in the NFL, earning a reported $14.25 million this year after signing a one-year contract in March 2023.
In November, he was named as a finalist For People’s Sexiest Man – and joked he was not surprised.
“I don’t know how this all happened, but it’s honestly just another day,’ he said.
“My wife tells me all the time I’m the sexiest man in the world, so I’ve been wondering what’s been taking so long for this nomination to happen.
“It’s been a whirlwind; it’s been fun. It’s a win for plus-sized bearded men all over.”
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