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The Best Jason Kelce Quotes About Being an Underdog

Through grit and determination, Kelce defied the odds to become the greatest center of all-time.

Joker Mag chronicles our collection of the best Jason Kelce quotes of all time
Credit-Philadelphia Inquirer/Philadelphia Eagles/Joker Mag

On March 4th, 2024, Jason Kelce officially announced his retirement from the NFL.

The Philadelphia Eagles center left behind a legacy more than deserving of a jersey retirement, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, and maybe even a statue.

It was an uphill battle to get here.

After walking on at the University of Cincinnati as a running back, Kelce ultimately switched to the offensive line. He learned the left guard position and played there for the majority of his college career.

As a senior, he moved over to center, where the Cleveland Heights native was named to the All-American team as an honorable mention.

Considered undersized for a lineman, Kelce fell to the 6th round (191 overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft.

But through grit and determination, he defied the odds.

Across a career that spanned 13 seasons, Jason Kelce became a 7-time Pro Bowler, 6-time First-team All-Pro, and Super Bowl Champion.

As “The Home of The Underdog“, I can’t think of a better player to embody the underdog mentality.

Here is our collection of the best Jason Kelce quotes of all time – sourced from his retirement speech, media appearances, and interviews throughout his career.

The Best Quotes From Jason Kelce

Jason Kelce quote on walking on: "I didn't want to play at a smaller school.  I wanted to try to play Division 1 football.  I said, 'I think I'm good enough to f*ckin' do that.  I'm gonna go do that."

1.) “I didn’t want to play at a smaller school. I wanted to try to play Division 1 football. I said, ‘I think I’m good enough to f*ckin’ do that. I’m gonna go do that.'” – Jason Kelce

2.) “I entered the University of Cincinnati as a walk-on…I had no idea what to expect, but scenes from Rudy would often race in my mind. It became apparent immediately that walk-ons would have to fight harder for their opportunities than the rest of the team.” – Jason Kelce

3.) “I had no stars, no investment from the team or the coaches. I’d have to earn everything, and that’s good because I had no clue what hard work was yet. Knowing that I had to earn my respect every day made me more committed than ever before.” – Jason Kelce

4.) “I think I’m a lot better than what people portray me as, but…I’m ready to prove a lot of people wrong. Let’s just put it that way.” – Jason Kelce before the 2011 NFL Draft

5.) “Everyone said I was too small. I didn’t have what it takes. [And] I earned a starting spot my first year.” – Jason Kelce

6.) “When I was not given a scholarship to play at any Division 1 university, my father and mother told me to stay after my dream. And I’ve officially accomplished the best thing in this sport.” – Jason Kelce after winning Super Bowl LII

7.) “The speech was something that I think came off pretty genuine and everyone felt like that, so it had a good reception and the rest of it was me trying to enjoy it and take it all in.” – Jason Kelce on his legendary speech at the Super Bowl LII parade

8.) “Stepping on the field was the most alive and free I’ve ever felt. There was a visceral feeling with football unlike any other sport. The hairs on my arms would stand up. I could hit somebody, run around like a crazed lunatic, and then get told, ‘Good job.'” – Jason Kelce on his love for football

9.) “My dad would always tell me, ‘Play every snap like it’s gonna be your last, because you never know when that last snap’s gonna be.'” – Jason Kelce

10.) “This world – life – it can be hard. It can challenge yourself to points of self-doubt, and that is a dangerous place to be. Well, I am lucky. My whole life, I have been surrounded by people who believe in me.” – Jason Kelce

11.) “Sometimes the flowers get knocked back a bit, but the roots remain.” – Jason Kelce

Jason Kelce's quote: "We're a bunch of underdogs.  And you know what an underdog is?  It's a hungry dog.  And hungry dogs run faster."

12.) “We’re a bunch of underdogs. And you know what an underdog is? It’s a hungry dog. And hungry dogs run faster.” – Jason Kelce

13.) “Some people struggle to play in this city. They can’t handle the boo’s, the media, or our fans. Consider it a great blessing to play in the most passionate sports town in America.” – Jason Kelce on playing in Philadelphia

14.) “It has been humbling to be in this position and to have had this opportunity, something I never take for granted.” – Jason Kelce

15.) “I like to think that people think that I care about what they do and who they are and know that if they ever need something, I’m a person they can call and count on to help them out and listen or be there for them in any way I can.” – Jason Kelce

16.) “I honestly don’t think I’m the best lineman in my time here at the Eagles…it takes all of us working together and being on the same page with all of those guys, so I really care about the legacy I’ve left in those guys’ minds and how I’ve treated individuals in the building. That’s what will always resonate most with me.” – Jason Kelce

17.) “To be honest, I get really emotional. I don’t know if all this emotion is good. But, I can’t help myself when I get in these big moments.” – Jason Kelce

18.) “Philadelphia has been a blessing for me to come here. I think I fit in really well…I’m very grateful to have been able to play here and insert myself and my family into Philadelphia and fully call myself a Philadelphian here. It’s an honor.” – Jason Kelce

19.) “I don’t try to be anything that I’m not and I think fans, especially in Philadelphia, appreciate that. I think it’s a very ‘real’ relationship. I just try to be as much of myself as I can be, not trying to get a big head or anything like that because I certainly don’t have one and really just engage with the fans in a real way as much as possible. I think they reciprocate that.” – Jason Kelce

20.) “This sh*t goes by in a flash. Don’t take nothing for granted.” – Jason Kelce

21.) “The significance of No. 62 is that when I made it to the NFL this is the number that was given to me and I am honored to wear it…I had a football coach in middle school who once said to me, ‘The player makes the number, not the other way around.’ Since then, I’ve taken the number that was handed to me. I have an identity with 62 and I’m going to have that forever.” – Jason Kelce

22.) “Jeff Stoutland often shares a quote his father would tell him: ‘More often than not, the easy way is the wrong way.'” – Jason Kelce

23.) “We are all so much better than we f*cking realize. The human mind is f*cking incredible. The human body, passion, will is so f*cking powerful. Everyone here is here for a f*cking reason!” Jason Kelce

24.) “I loved the challenge that football was. The joy of winning. The agony of defeat. The anxiety of the unknown. And the camaraderie of my teammates.” – Jason Kelce

25.) “Persistence has summed up my whole career. It’s summed up my whole life. Just keep going. Just keep moving forward. No matter what obstacle comes in your way, just keep moving forward.” – Jason Kelce

A Jason Kelce quote that sums up his entire NFL career: "Persistence has summed up my whole career.  It's summed up my whole life.  Just keep going.  Just keep moving forward.  No matter what obstacle comes in your way, just keep moving forward."

Quotes About Jason Kelce’s Legacy

“He has been so special for us, because for everything Jason Kelce has accomplished on the football field, he has matched it with the way he’s treated people and given of himself and made his experience one for everyone to share.” – Dave Spadaro on Jason Kelce

“His grit and determination, from being a walk-on linebacker at Cincinnati to an undersized sixth-round pick in 2011, are unparalleled. His intelligence and versatility, from starting as a rookie center in a lockout season to thriving under multiple coaches and offensive schemes, set him apart from others at his position.” – Jeffrey Lurie on Jason Kelce

“I love him, he is one of my brothers. I never had a brother growing up, I was an only child, so these guys are my family. I love him. He is one of the best centers to play the game. There’s few guys that could do the things he could do on the football field athletically. I don’t think we will see another one like him for a long time.” Lane Johnson on Jason Kelce

“He’s a legend in the city, really in the league. I don’t want to do a disservice to him and the things that he has been able to do and overcome. His journey to where he is now didn’t come easy. It has been a long time coming for him. He knows how much I love and appreciate him. He knows how much I’ve learned from him. He will forever have a special place in my heart.” Jalen Hurts on Jason Kelce

“No other player has embraced and represented the city of Philadelphia better than #62. Warrior. Leader. Hero.” Kendall Beck on Jason Kelce

“The man knows how to connect to everyone by simply being comfortable with himself.” – Kevin Negandhi on Jason Kelce

“Build the statue now. What an all-time great.” – Field Yates on Jason Kelce

“Incredible man. A legendary teammate. A Hall of Fame player.” – Emmanuel Acho on Jason Kelce

“He absolutely did it his way at every turn. He changed the way the center position was played. Next stop Canton. A speech that we are all waiting for.” – James Palmer on Jason Kelce

“Man, Kelce is fierce. You can tell from his enthusiasm in the speech after the Super Bowl and even when breaking it down in the huddle after practice. He’s very passionate about the sport.” – Matt Pryor on Jason Kelce

“Off the field, man, the leadership he brings and the mentality … guys look up to him. When he talks, everybody listens.” – Isaac Seumalo on Jason Kelce

“Oh, without question the best center that you’ll see in space…I haven’t seen anybody better than Kelce as long as I’ve been playing.” – Brandon Brooks on Jason Kelce

“What an absolutely legendary career…he’s on the Mount Rushmore of centers in everybody’s conversation.” – Pat McAfee on Jason Kelce

“One of the greatest warriors in Eagles history…gave everything he had every day to the organization and to the fan base…and doesn’t owe anybody anything.” – Derrick Gunn on Jason Kelce

Is there a Jason Kelce quote I missed? Drop a comment below and let me know.

Written By

Division III baseball alum (McDaniel College) and founder of Joker Mag. Sharing underdog stories to inspire the next generation.

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