Former Washington wide receiver and Lakes High School product Jermaine Kearse caught his first career touchdown pass in the NFL today, and he did it at the perfect moment, hooking up with quarterback Russell Wilson for a beautiful 43-yard catch that gave Seattle a 12-7 lead that would prove to be the final score and enough for a tough, ugly, sometimes troubling road win for the Seattle Seahawks.
Kearse was a favorite target of Jake Locker’s throughout the Tennessee quarterback’s time as a Husky, and he also put up solid numbers as part of a deep corps of targets that caught passes from Keith Price in 2011. He entered the league as an undrafted free agent last year and eventually earned some time on the field. In limited action he caught 3 catches for 7 yards last season, but he also served as an important special teams contributor.
During the 2013 preseason Kearse shined, catching multiple touchdown catches and returning a kick for a touchdown. With Percy Harvin injured, he was expected to serve as a solid fourth receiver behind Rice, Tate, and Baldwin, and that’s exactly what he did. Finishing with 2 catches for 49 yards and the one clutch score, Kearse showed fantastic body control in reeling in Seattle’s lone score, making it clear that he has earned Russell Wilson’s unquestioned trust when it comes to catching big passes in big moments.
I wouldn’t have necessarily expected Kearse to have a successful NFL career, and I definitely didn’t think he’d end up catching touchdowns for the Seahawks as a hometown product, but it has become a reality for those fans of both the Seahawks and the Huskies. More on Kearse and other Huskies in the NFL as the season goes on.