Thanks to Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman, former Texas A&M Fullback Jorvorski Lane was brought in and signed by the Miami Dolphins back in early June as an undrafted free agent. Sherman stuck his neck out vouching for Lane’s skills, pleading for GM Jeff Ireland to bring him in. Ireland made the right decision by listening to his offensive coordinator. After originally being a long shot to make this roster, Jorvorski Lane beat the odds and will be the starting fullback for our 2012 Miami Dolphins.
After playing four years with the Aggies from 2004-2008, Lane went undrafted in the 2009 NFL draft and was unable to sign with any teams as an undrafted free agent. During that time, Lane weighed in around 295 pounds and many NFL teams were worried about his inability to control his weight. His only option was to join the West Texas Roughnecks of the Indoor Football League in 2012.
Since fullbacks are not really utilized in the Indoor Football league, Lane became discouraged and felt his skills were not being recognized. This motivated him to get back in shape by training in Mixed Martial Arts for about a year. He was able to slim down to 277 pounds and participated in the Texas A&M Pro Day in March 2011. However, even with this transformation, no NFL teams were knocking on his door last year and he ended up signing with the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League to play in 2012. But, that’s before he received a random phone call from his old coach, Sherman.
The Dolphins were in the market for fullbacks and Sherman had contacted Lane early to see if he was in shape to still play football. After getting confirmation that Lane was ready for the challenge, Sherman began his campaign, lobbying to give him a chance. But Ireland was reluctant and worried that Lane couldn’t keep his weight down.
The Dolphins originally signed former CFL star fullback Jerome Messam and had envisioned him as the answer to their fullback vacancy. But an unexpected left knee scope back in May caused concerns that he would start the season off on the Physically Unable to Perform list. This forced the Dolphins to test the market again to find a reliable and physical fullback who can carry the load. After weeks of striking out with potential candidates, Ireland finally gave in and listened to Sherman by signing Lane.
With the sand slowly pouring out of the hour glass, Lane knew this could be his one and only shot at making the 53 man roster on an NFL team. It was now or never and his time to shine. In a West Coast Offense that does not utilize fullbacks very often and competing with an already crowded backfield, no one really gave him a chance and considered him to be just another body to have in camp.
Lane worked hard, stayed focus, and impressed the coaching staff during OTAs and minicamp. He also got his weight down to under 260 pounds which earned him an invitation to remain with the team during training camp and preseason. In the preseason games against the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys, Lane was able to showcase his skills running over linebackers and breaking tackles, determined to reach the first down markers. Even though it was just two catches, what he was able to do after those catches helped put his name on the map and solidified his spot on this team.
Between the negative publicity surrounding this organization from HBO’s Hard Knocks, the lack of offensive production during the preseason, and some of the head-scratching personnel moves, Lane is one of the very few bright spots on this team. It’s rare for any undrafted free agent to make an NFL roster, not to mention one who played his senior year of college football four years ago. He is now a role model for those athletes out there looking for work and trying to get back in shape for a second chance to play in the NFL. Miami is currently a team with a lot of uncertainties. But one thing is certain; Jorvorski Lane was able to beat the odds and will be the starting fullback for our Dolphins.