Lieutenant Eric Kettani (born March 26, 1987) was an American football fullback who played 5 seasons in the National Football League. He played college football at the United States Naval Academy and graduated with a Bachelor of Science specialized in Economics.
Kettani grew up in Kirtland, Ohio and attended High School in nearby Mentor, Ohio at Lake Catholic High School. At Lake Catholic, Kettani was a three-year letter winner in football and was the News-Herald Player of the Year and the Cleveland Plain-Dealer Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, he was also named First-Team All-Northeast Ohio and earned all-state honors.
Kettani attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated in 2009. He played for the Navy Midshipmen football team from 2006-09. In his last three seasons with the Midshipmen, Kettani rushed 395 times for 2,091 yards, a 5.3-yards-per-carry average, and scored 15 rushing touchdowns. He was named the MVP for the first win against Notre Dame in 43 years and never lost to Army or Air Force.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots signed Kettani as an undrafted free agent following the 2009 NFL Draft, he was later placed on the Reserve/Military list. In 2011, he was signed to the Patriot's practice squad, however, he was recalled to the Navy.
On February 14, 2012, Kettani re-signed with the Patriots. He was released on August 31 for final roster cuts before the start of the 2012 season but signed to the team's practice squad again. He was released on September 4.
Kettani signed with the practice squad of the Washington Redskins on September 11, 2012. He was honored to receive the USAA Salute to Service Award by the Redskins organization. On August 26, 2013, he was waived by the Redskins.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kettani signed on December 23, 2013, and was with the team during its playoff appearance. He was waived on May 12, 2013.
Kettani signed on August 22, 2014, and started the last pre-season game for the Jaguars. He was brought back during week three of the 2014 season and remained on the team for the entire season.
Served three years in active duty with United States Navy. While during active duty he was stationed at the United States Naval Academy, Naval Academy Prep School, USS KLAKRING (FFG-42) and ATG (Afloat Training Group). While onboard, served as the Repair Division Officer and Officer of the Deck. He was ranked No. 1 for Junior Officers onboard and was the ship handler of the Surface Warfare Class in Newport, Rhode Island. Kettani earned his Surface Warfare Qualification (usually an 18-month process) in 12 months and completed a six-month deployment overseas. Kettani negotiated a deal with the Department of Defense to allow him to serve seven years in the Naval reserves doing public-affairs work while simultaneously pursuing a career in the NFL in 2012. On June 3, 2013, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant from his previous rank of lieutenant junior grade. He had his pinning ceremony at Redskins Park, where head coach Mike Shanahan and running back coach Bobby Turner were chosen to pin Kettani's new lieutenant bars on his uniform, along with his father. Now he continues serving in public relations department for the Navy Reserve conducting speeches and other P.R. efforts around the world. On August 23, 2013, Eric was honored as USAA Salute to Service Award winner. He continues traveling the world promoting the U.S. Navy and NFL while engaging with military members and civilians on his Armed Forces entertainment military tours.
Eric is a self-taught artist who has always had a great appreciation for the arts. While in the Navy, Eric had the opportunity to visit many different and unique countries throughout the world. The inspiration that Eric draws is derived from his many travels, time spent in the Navy and NFL, as well as his natural creative imagination. All paintings are on wood panels and finished with epoxy resin which gives the unique glossy look. In his career, he has sold and donated numerous pieces. Some of his notable clients include:
- Mr. Robert Kraft - Owner of the New England Patriots
- Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood - Country Music Legends
- Lee Brice - Country Music Star
- Bobby Stein - Family of the Burger King heir
- American Heart Association Boston Heart Ball
- Dawn Carter - Owner / Health Planning Care
- Boston Children's Hospital
- Nick Sundberg - NFL Player
- Landon Cohen - NFL Player
- Marcus Cannon - NFL Player
- Tyler Polumbus - NFL Player
- Paul Kelly - NFL Operations Director
- Dr. Donnie Horner
"The art that I create is a direct reflection on my life experiences and features a different dynamic than any other which provides limitless possibilities"
- Eric Kettani