Although Cedarville doesn’t have a football team, the university is having an impact in the NFL.
Currently, one current and one former student are serving internships as athletic trainers with the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively.
Kurt Gruenberg, who graduated from Cedarville in 2015 is a Seasonal Intern for the Browns, while Kyle Cherry is the Bengals Athletic Training Student Intern. The pair were re-united before the Bengals and the Browns played in Cleveland at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday, December 6.
Gruenberg said the athletic training program at Cedarville has opened doors for him.
“I think Cedarville definitely prepared me in particular,” Gruenberg said. “I think we have a great staff that prepares us and trains us. Mike Weller specifically really helped me get in with the Bengals originally, and now the Browns to get in and to succeed in the league.”
Cherry echoed the sentiment.
“Mike Weller and the staff were super influential in helping me and knew the process to get into the NFL,” Cherry said. “They helped me with my resume and contacts and all the professors there are very helpful. I think one of the things that separates Cedarville is the staff really cares and invests in the students and want you to be successful.”
Gruenberg started as a student intern with the Bengals in 2013 and then served as a training camp intern with the Browns in 2014. He was able to make an impression to be invited to be the season long intern in 2015.
“There’s definitely been doors opened up,” he said. “Being with two NFL teams in three consecutive years has boosted my resume and will jump start my career either in the NFL or at the college level.”
Both see the opportunity to be used by the Lord for ministry on the mission field of the National Football League.
“That’s one of the reasons why I’m excited to be in the league,” Gruenberg said. “It’s a very dark and very sinful place. These players have fame, fortune and money but they don’t have Christ and I can have one-on-one relationships, which open up doors and allows me to be able to share with them Christ and why I’m different.”
Cherry sees the same potential.
“I think that’s one of the reasons I’m excited that Cedarville now has two students in the league,” Cherry said. “There are a lot of dark places and to get to know some of these people and shine some light is important.”
Fred Greetham, a ’79 graduate of Cedarville, has covered the NFL and the Cleveland Browns for 26 years and is currently covering the team for The Orange & Brown Report (cle.scout.com) for Scout.com and is the publisher of the Wine & Gold Report (WineAndGoldReport.com) for Scout covering the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Greetham is in the Cedarville University Hall of Fame Class of 2001 and stills holds several records from his baseball career at CU.
Follow him on Twitter @FredGreetham