Erik Ainge: Wikis

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Erik Ainge

Erik Ainge during his tenure with the Volunteers.
No. 10     New York Jets
Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: June 12, 1986 (1986-06-12) (age 23)
Place of birth: Portland, Oregon
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 221 lb (100 kg)
Career information
College: Tennessee
NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 5 / Pick: 162
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
 As player:
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NFL.com

Erik Douglas Ainge (born June 12, 1986 in Portland, Oregon) is an American football quarterback for the New York Jets of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Jets in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played college football at Tennessee.

He is the nephew of former NBA player Danny Ainge.

Contents

Early years

Ainge was raised just outside Portland in Hillsboro, Oregon, where he was a star athlete at Glencoe High School.[1] As a freshman and sophomore, he played baseball and basketball in addition to football. Ainge was the starting pitcher on his baseball team and was said to throw a 90 mph fastball. He also averaged 17 points, 8 rebounds, and three assists in basketball as a junior, and as a senior was a preseason honorable mention on the Street and Smith's All-American team.[1]

He was a two-year starter at quarterback on the football team, leading the Glencoe Crimson Tide as deep as the Oregon state quarterfinals. As a junior he passed for 2,559 yards and 16 touchdowns. As a senior, he passed for 3,078 yards, 24 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.[1] Perhaps his most impressive game as a senior came against Aloha High School, when he passed for 475 yards, 5 touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the Crimson Tide to 62 points through three quarters of action. Following his senior season Ainge was named all-state, prep star all-American, and the 2003 Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year. During his senior season Ainge also became one of the most highly recruited quarterbacks on the west coast receiving offers from schools like Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA, and Tennessee. He eventually signed with the University of Tennessee.[1]

Ainge during a game

College career

As a freshman at UT in 2004, Ainge threw 17 touchdown passes in 9 games, breaking Peyton Manning's freshman TD record of 15. His 1,452 passing yards ranked second behind Manning in UT freshman history. Ainge split time for much of the year with Brent Schaeffer, who later transferred to Ole Miss. After an injury just before halftime against Notre Dame, Ainge was replaced by former University of Tennessee quarterback Casey Clausen's brother Rick.

In 2005, his sophomore season, he threw 5 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions. One of his most infamous moments was in a game against LSU where he was being sacked by LaRon Landry in the end zone, and flung the ball up into the air just before he was ruled down for a safety. Ainge's head also hit the goalpost on the play, tweaking his neck. As a result, Senior QB Rick Clausen took over. Ainge finished his sophomore season with a strong performance and a win at Kentucky.

As a junior in 2006, Ainge was named the starter heading into spring practice, and for the first time in his career was able to take all of the first team reps throughout the preseason. Ainge also had a new position coach and offensive coordinator when David Cutcliffe replaced Randy Sanders. He led his team to 7-1 record before being injured in the closing minutes of a game against South Carolina. He would then miss the majority of the next two losses for Tennessee before returning to lead his team to season-ending wins against Vanderbilt and Kentucky. During the season Ainge would set career highs in most statistical categories and break the Tennessee single-season record for completion percentage. He now owns a 17-5 record as a starter. The 2007 Outback Bowl was the first bowl appearance for Ainge. Ainge missed the 2005 Cotton Bowl Classic due to injury, and the Vols did not qualify for a bowl game following his sophomore season. On March 8, 2007 it was reported that Ainge would have to undergo surgery for a torn meniscus. Ainge stated that the injury occurred during weightlifting exercise. However, he was able to recover in time for the 2007 season.

As a senior in 2007, Ainge passed for 3,522 passing yards and 31 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Despite throwing 513 passes his senior year Erik was only sacked 3 times. He completed 62.6 % of his passes and had a 135.48 QB rating. Ainge was able to achieve this success despite nagging injuries which hampered him all season, including a broken pinky finger on his throwing hand and a shoulder injury on his throwing arm. The strongest statistical game for Ainge was a 52-50 triple-overtime win over Kentucky in which Ainge threw 7 touchdowns and 397 yards and his Bowl win over Wisconsin (Outback Bowl) in which Ainge threw for 365 yards and two touchdowns. Erik also lead Tennessee to a 35-14 victory of Nationally ranked Georgia in which he completed 17 of 22 passes. "My time at Tennessee transformed me from an amateur football into somebody everyone knew around the country. I learned a lot, and loved my 4 years at Tennessee."

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Awards and honors

Professional career

New York Jets

Ainge was selected in the fifth round (162nd overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. On July 16, he signed a four-year, $1.87 million contract with a $165,000 signing bonus. He currently is the 3rd string quarterback behind Kellen Clemens, and Mark Sanchez, though the Jets do plan on keeping him throughout the season.

On November 21, 2008, Ainge was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league's policy on steroids and related substances. Ainge, already on injured reserve and out for the season with a foot injury, is not allowed to be with the team or at its facility during the suspension. He was able to rejoin the team December 15, 2008, following the New York Jets' game against Buffalo.[9]

2009 Season

Ainge did not participate in any games in the 2009 season. He has not made his NFL debut.

Personal

His father, Doug Ainge, attended Brigham Young University on a basketball scholarship and is currently a basketball coach at Linfield College. His grandfather, Don Ainge, was drafted by the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball; he declined their offer. He also earned a football/basketball scholarship to the University of Oregon in 1954-1955. His uncle, Danny Ainge, is a former professional basketball and baseball player who starred in the NBA for the Boston Celtics, the Sacramento Kings, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Phoenix Suns, and also played Major League Baseball for the Toronto Blue Jays. Danny is currently the director of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics. Erik's cousin Austin (Danny's son) started at point guard for BYU's basketball team for two seasons, and is currently the Head Coach of the Maine Red Claws in the NBA Development League.

References

External links

Preceded by
Rick Clausen
Tennessee Volunteers
Starting Quarterbacks
2004-2007
Succeeded by
Jonathan Crompton

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