November 16, 2009
It seems these days the Dolphins don't care who lines up at the tight end position, as long as they can block and catch they are viable candidates - even if they come from the practice squad.
The 6'4, 238-pound Kory Kalani Kahauaele Sperry got his chance to play on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and came up big. His three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown were crucial to Miami's win. After all, it was only a two-point victory.
But who is this Kory Sperry character? Not many fans had any idea of number 85 as he snatched his 5-yard touchdown pass from Chad Henne to put Miami up 16-3. Thirty one yards may not sound outstanding, but an average of 10 yards per catch is significant. And if you can add six points to the board while you're at it then you're in good standing. All that does is instill confidence in the coaching staff and create future opportunities on the field for you.
By taking a look at his background we can see where his motivation comes from and begin to understand this overnight surprise.
Sperry is a rookie out of Colorado State University, where his hometown of Vineland was. His Hawaiian heritage is a major part of his personality as his body is covered with tattoos, some of which derives from the struggles faced as a child. In essence, he's a tough kid that thrives on being an underdog in the league. How else would an undrafted free agent that was signed by the San Diego Chargers and later dropped find his way into Miami's active roster? Some of it is luck, but most of it is dedication.
His 2007 season-ending torn ACL injury dropped his stock greatly on the draft boards, but today he finds himself in the National Football League wearing a professional team's uniform. On Sunday, Miami was fortunate that Sperry's uniform was white and aqua.
Anthony Fasano and Joey Haynos have been lackluster thus far and clearly the former John Nalbone was not worthy of a roster spot. That leaves Mr. Sperry with a chance to fill that void and deliver results for the Dolphins.