‘I am more than a football player’: Former USF Bull KJ Sails on his journey to NFL


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – His nickname is “The Mayor” but, according to KJ Sails, one NFL scout mistakenly referred to him as “The Governor” on Thursday. Regardless of what title is bestowed on him, Sails strives to be the best he can be as a man of faith, a father and a football player in that order.

Sails participated in the University of South Florida’s pro day on Thursday morning and he seemed to be pleased with his overall performance.

“I tested pretty well today,” said Sails. “I am satisfied with my numbers. I came out and did what I needed to do and I am blessed to be here and blessed to go on this journey.”

He did not know the official numbers but he certainly knows the number of days, weeks and months he has dedicated to preparing for this moment.

“I started last year, like late in December,” he said, “and then, when we had time off, I would go train for it. It was a lot of time put into it so I am just happy to be back doing things related to football.”

The defensive back spent his first three college football seasons at the University of North Carolina before transferring to the University of South Florida. He played for the Bulls for two years in a city that has always been his home.

“I am just blessed to be able to play in front of my friends and family and my son,” he said. “That is the biggest blessing that God gave to me so I am thankful to be back home.”

Sails’ son, King, is only 3 years old but he still understands what his father is trying to accomplish on the football field.

“If you guys show him a Bull logo,” explained Sails, “he will think that that is me and it is funny. He is like, ‘Daddy!’ and I am like, ‘No, that is not daddy, man. I just play for the Bulls,’ but he grasps everything. He is a smart kid. He is very charismatic. I see a lot of me in him.”

He is charismatic like his father, the future mayor of Tampa or, if that scout has anything to say about it, the future governor of Florida.

“I did not really think that they did their research about that type of stuff on me,” admitted Sails. “It was kind of shocking to hear him say that but it was a blessing at the same time so I am thankful to impact my community because this community means a lot to me.”

Sails has showed it again and again. He organized a “peace walk” in June to try to unify this community. He also had the opportunity to be the mayor for one day shadowing the current mayor of Tampa, Jane Castor.

“I am a high character guy,” said Sails when he was asked what he wants NFL teams to know about him. “I am a leader in the locker room. I am going to come in and work hard and I am not just a football player. I am more than a football player and I am going to impact the community wherever I am at, wherever I end up, while still having an impact here in Tampa.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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