Jermaine Gresham
refer to caption
Gresham with the Cincinnati Bengals
No. 84
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1988-06-16) June 16, 1988 (age 35)
Ardmore, Oklahoma, U.S.
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school:Ardmore
College:Oklahoma (2006–2009)
NFL draft:2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 21
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:3,752
Receiving touchdowns:29
Player stats at

Jermaine Gresham (born June 16, 1988) is an American former professional football player who was a tight end in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Oklahoma Sooners, earning first-team All-American honors in 2008. He was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft.

High school career


Gresham was a high school standout at wide receiver from Ardmore High School in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

During his sophomore year Gresham helped the Tigers go 10–2, and had the game clinching 29-yard touchdown in a 13–0 win against Ada,[1] a 28-yard game sealing touchdown against Altus to win 21–8,[2] and 168 yards receiving on six catches, including a 74-yard touchdown pass, in a 23–16 loss to Shawnee,[3] He finished the season with 11-touchdowns on 26-receptions,[4] and was named "Best receiver" by the Daily Oklahoman for the 2003 season.[5]

His senior year, he had 70 catches for 1,175 yards and 24 touchdowns and was named to the Parade All-American team.[6] Helped the Tigers go 12–0 before losing in the 5A state semifinals to Bixby. In the quarter-final win over Coweta, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee.[7]

Gresham had 148 career catches and was ranked as the No. 34 overall prospect in 2005 by[8]


Gresham was also an outstanding basketball player before giving it up after the ACL knee injury, and to pursue his career in football as an Oklahoma Sooner.

Gresham started on the Ardmore basketball team as a 6′4″ freshman center. He averaged 10.1 points-per-game (PPG) and 6.7 rebounds-per-game (RPG).[9] The Tigers made it all the way to the 2003 Class 5A state final against Oklahoma City John Marshall, losing 50–46, to a team led by J. R. Giddens.[10] The John Marshall victory avenged a 68–58 loss to Ardmore in the area championship just a week earlier.[11]

The Ardmore Tigers returned to the Class 5A boys basketball final game for 2004, but lost to the Oklahoma City Southeast Spartans, 60–55, and finished with a 25–3 record. Ardmore led 52–42 with 4:39 to play, but turnovers by Ardmore and three-pointers by Southeast put the Spartans on an 18–3 run to win the title. Gresham (as a sophomore) led the team with an 11.8 PPG season average, added 7.5 RPG, and had 17-points and 15-rebounds in the championship final game.[12][13][14] Gresham was named to the Class 5A First-team at center, and "Best bench player", averaging 16.3 PPG for the state tournament.[15][16] He was named to the All-Southern Conference basketball team for 2003–2004.[17]

As a junior, Gresham helped lead his team to the 2005 Class 5A state tournament semifinals with a 17.3 PPG season average, losing to Tulsa Washington High School 71–61 (a team that included Felix Jones). In the game Gresham stole the ball and dunked it making the score Tulsa Washington–37 Ardmore–34 with 5:25 left in the third quarter, but he was penalized with a technical foul for hanging on the rim. This sparked Tulsa Washington to a 17–6 run to end the quarter at 54–40, and Ardmore never got any closer than nine (with 26 seconds remaining) the rest of the way.[18] He averaged 26.5 points-per-game (PPG) in the state tournament his junior season and was named to the Class 5A Boys All-Tournament First-team, including a career-high 39-points in a quarterfinal 78–74 win over Oklahoma City John Marshall.[19][20] For the season he shot 62 percent from the field, averaged 10.2 rebounds, had 21 points, 27 rebounds and 11 assists against Tulsa's Nathan Hale in a regional final, was named All-State second-team (all classes),[21] and was named the starting center to the Class 5A All-State team.[22] He was also named the Southern Conference Boys' Player of the Year.[23]

Gresham did not play his final year; at the end of the football season (after tearing his ACL in the next to last game against Coweta, but playing hurt in the final game against Bixby), and start of the basketball season, he underwent surgery December 9, 2005, that ended his senior basketball season.[7]

College career

As the top rated tight end and the number 34 overall prospect by for the 2005 season,[8] Gresham received interest from many top college football programs, including the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Miami Hurricanes, LSU Tigers, USC Trojans, Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers.[24] National analyst Jeremy Crabtree of called Gresham a "slam-dunk" prospect along with Oklahoma City Southeast defensive lineman Gerald McCoy.[25] He only made three recruiting visits; the first to USC, which he said was "too Hollywood" for him,[26] Miami, and Oklahoma.[27] Gresham was also going to visit LSU on January 20, 2006, but at the last minute Les Miles reportedly withdrew a scholarship offer.[28]

Gresham really liked the tradition of tight ends at Miami (Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow Jr.), as well as the camaraderie and closeness of the players there,[29] but in the end it came down to being close to family and friends. His mother, Walletta, would have a hard enough time getting to Norman to see him play. He also loved the way his Oklahoma recruiters, Kevin Sumlin and Jackie Shipp, interacted with their own families. He signed with the Sooners on February 1, 2006, the National Letter of Intent day.[30]

Gresham has been called "the most dynamic tight end at Oklahoma since Keith Jackson."[31]

College statistics

Oklahoma Sooners
Season Receiving
Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
2006 8 161 20.1 41 1
2007 37 518 14.0 43 11
2008 66 950 14.4 73 14
Career 111 1,629 14.7 73 26

Professional career

2010 NFL Draft

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 5+14 in
(1.96 m)
261 lb
(118 kg)
34+34 in
(0.88 m)
9+58 in
(0.24 m)
4.66 s 1.58 s 2.69 s 4.53 s 7.07 s 35 in
(0.89 m)
9 ft 5 in
(2.87 m)
20 reps
All values from the NFL Combine[32]

The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Gresham in the first round with the 21st overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.[33] Gresham was still drafted in the first round despite missing all of his last college season with a knee injury. He signed a five-year, $15.85 million deal - with $9.6 million guaranteed - on August 3, 2010.[34]

Cincinnati Bengals

Gresham (far right), next to Terrell Owens (center) and Chad Ochocinco (left), in 2010.

Gresham was the Bengals starting tight end for the first 15 games of his rookie season, and finished with 52 receptions for 471 yards and four touchdowns. His 52 receptions set a franchise record for catches by a rookie tight end, and ranked him third on the team (tied with Jordan Shipley).

Gresham missed two games of his second season with injuries, but still made an improvement in every statistical category, catching 56 passes for 596 yards and six touchdowns. His 56 receptions and six touchdown catches ranked second on the team, while his 596 yards ranked third. The season resulted in Gresham being named to his first Pro Bowl, replacing the Super Bowl-bound Rob Gronkowski and first alternate Aaron Hernandez.

In his third season, Gresham continued to improve, catching 64 passes for 737 yards and 5 touchdowns, ranking him second on the team in each category.

Gresham was named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl and joins Mike Ditka and fellow Sooner Keith Jackson as the only tight ends in NFL history to have over 50 receptions in the first three years of their career.

Gresham's production was reduced in 2013 as he found himself sharing the starting spot with rookie tight end Tyler Eifert, but he still had a solid year, catching 46 passes for 461 yards and 4 touchdowns in 15 games.

Arizona Cardinals

On July 24, 2015, Gresham agreed on a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals, reuniting with former Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer.[35] In a limited role in his first season with the Cardinals, Gresham recorded 18 receptions for 223 yards and one touchdown.[36]

On March 13, 2016, Gresham turned down four-year offers from both the New York Jets and Chicago Bears to stay with the Cardinals on a one-year deal.[37]

On March 7, 2017, Gresham signed a four-year contract extension with the Cardinals.[38][39]

In 2018, Gresham played in 13 games with 11 starts, recording a career-low nine receptions for 94 yards and no touchdowns.

On March 11, 2019, Gresham was released by the Cardinals.[40]

NFL career statistics

Year Team Games Receiving
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
2010 CIN 15 10 52 471 9.1 27 4
2011 CIN 14 13 56 596 10.6 31 6
2012 CIN 16 15 64 737 11.5 55 5
2013 CIN 14 14 46 458 9.9 30 4
2014 CIN 15 15 62 460 7.4 23 5
2015 ARI 15 12 18 223 12.4 22 1
2016 ARI 16 14 37 391 10.6 34 2
2017 ARI 14 14 33 322 9.8 21 2
2018 ARI 13 11 9 94 10.4 26 0
Career 132 118 377 3,752 10.0 55 29

Random acts of kindness

Gresham has appeared in the news and in social media several times for his random acts of kindness. For example, in May 2018, he paid $50 to assist Delilah Cassidy, a law student at Arizona State University, with a baggage fee, so that she did not miss her flight.[41][42][43]


  1. ^ Ward, Josh (September 6, 2003), "Backup QB lifts Ardmore", Daily Oklahoman
  2. ^ Ojeda, Francisco (October 11, 2003), "McAdoo, Roberts lead Ardmore attack", Daily Oklahoman
  3. ^ "Game Snapshot - Shawnee 23 - Ardmore 16", Daily Oklahoman, November 30, 2003
  4. ^ "Class 5A district previews", Daily Oklahoman, August 29, 2004
  5. ^ Gilman, Andrew (December 9, 2003), "Time to hand out awards", Daily Oklahoman
  6. ^ Ojeda, Francisco (December 29, 2005), "Prep pair earns Parade honors", Daily Oklahoman
  7. ^ a b Ojeda, Francisco (December 13, 2005), "Out of action Ardmore 's Gresham tears ACL", Daily Oklahoman
  8. ^ a b "Football All-State 2005: First Team Offense", Tulsa World, December 25, 2005
  9. ^ Strain, Mike (March 13, 2003), "Class 5A Boys - Finals at Lloyd Noble Center", Daily Oklahoman
  10. ^ Carlson, Jenni (March 16, 2003), "John Marshall tandem deserves golden moment", Daily Oklahoman
  11. ^ Strain, Mike (March 15, 2003), "Bears beat No. 1 Southeast - Giddens looks forward to final with Ardmore", Daily Oklahoman
  12. ^ Doyle, Matt (March 11, 2004), "5A/6A Boys: Trust: A two-way street", Tulsa World
  13. ^ Gilman, Andrew (March 14, 2004), "High School Basketball State Championship Saturday - Southeast rallies for 5A title", Daily Oklahoman
  14. ^ Doyle, Matt (March 14, 2004), "5A Boys: Spartans take gold", Tulsa World
  15. ^ Gilman, Andrew (March 15, 2004), "All-Tournament Teams", Daily Oklahoman
  16. ^ Gilman, Andrew (March 15, 2004), "Putnam City has best fans; Stewart steps up for Union", Daily Oklahoman
  17. ^ "Risinger, Bush make all conference team", Altus Times, March 26, 2004
  18. ^ Seeley, David (March 13, 2005), "Tulsa Washington ends Ardmore boys' season", Daily Ardmoreite
  19. ^ "Boys All-Tournament", Tulsa World, March 14, 2005
  20. ^ Moguin, Mike (March 16, 2005), "Basketball season over, but had strong finishes", Daily Ardmoreite
  21. ^ "All-State boys second team", Tulsa World, April 10, 2005
  22. ^ "Boys All-State Roster", Daily Oklahoman, April 10, 2005
  23. ^ Seeley, David (April 14, 2005), "Ardmore boys center SC Player of the Year", Daily Ardmoreite
  24. ^ Gilman, Andrew; Chatmon, Brandon (June 9, 2005), "The Buzz", Daily Oklahoman
  25. ^ "College Recruiting", Daily Oklahoman, June 26, 2005
  26. ^ Carlson, Jenni (December 27, 2007), "Growing up Ardmore - How one town became the perfect home for Jermaine Gresham", The Oklahoman
  27. ^ Hoover, John E. (January 8, 2006), "Sooners among Gresham's final four", Tulsa World
  28. ^ Glenn, Mark (January 29, 2006), "Spotlighting Sports", Altus Times
  29. ^ Wright, Scott (September 6, 2007), "OU vs. Miami: Tight end Jermaine Gresham decided to play for Sooners - Family key to Gresham choosing OU", The Oklahoman
  30. ^ Hoover, John E. (February 2, 2006), "Signed & delivered", Tulsa World
  31. ^ Cooney, Frank (May 11, 2009). "Who's next? Looking ahead to the best of the 2010 draft class". USA Today.
  32. ^ Jermaine Gresham Combine Profile at, retrieved April 26, 2010
  33. ^ "2010 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved May 13, 2023.
  34. ^ Bengals, Jermaine Gresham ink deal
  35. ^ "Cardinals sign free-agent tight end Jermaine Gresham". USA TODAY. July 24, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  36. ^ "NFL #84 Jermaine Gresham - ESPN". ESPN. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  37. ^ "Source: TE Gresham to re-sign with Cardinals". March 13, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  38. ^ Urban, Darren (March 7, 2017). "Cardinals Keep Jermaine Gresham". Archived from the original on November 3, 2017.
  39. ^ Patra, Kevin (March 7, 2017). "Cards agree to four-year deal with Jermaine Gresham".
  40. ^ "Cardinals will reportedly release TE Jermaine Gresham". March 11, 2019.
  41. ^ "The story behind Jermaine Gresham's random acts of kindness". ESPN. July 21, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  42. ^ "End run: Cardinals' Jermaine Gresham pays American Airlines' passenger's bag fee". June 5, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  43. ^ "Woman tweets about man's act of kindness, turns out he was NFL player Jermaine Gresham". CBS NEWS. June 5, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2022.