University of linebacker J.J Weaver went viral following his SEC media day appearance after he not only revealed he had 11 fingers, but that he also signed an NIL deal with Nike.
Weaver was born with six fingers on his right hand – a condition known as polydactyly.
He revealed that he used to be teased for the condition and that he struggled when playing football as he had to fit two little fingers into one slot in his gloves.
‘With Nike, me and my mom, we sat down, and we talked about, something about my
Kentucky LB J.J Weaver went viral after revealing his six fingers got him an NIL deal from Nike
He now reaches out to children who deal with the similar situations and reflecting on meeting two kids with six fingers on one hand at an elementary school.
‘When I was younger, iconwin I used to get picked on a lot, being different,’ he said.’People didn’t see this (kind of thing) growing up. Plus, we were kids. Kids were ugly, making fun and stuff like that.
‘When I grew up and got bigger than everyone else, they couldn’t make fun of me no more.
‘Started playing football.
Got into it. Loved it. Then went to the University of Kentucky, they helped me and that’s when I started expressing myself. I went to an elementary school, craziest thing ever, two kids had six fingers. They never seen me — a football player, have six fingers.
I blew up ever since then.
‘I end up talking to kids now, for my platform I do. My logo is, “A Perfect Fit,” that’s what I call myself going around, and I’ve been helping the community out.’
Weaver recorded career-highs with 47 tackles last season, two forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries, to go along with three sacks last season, despite missing time with an elbow injury.
Since he joined the Wildcats as a four-star recruit he has totaled 120 tackles, 10.0 sacks, 24.0 tackles for loss, and two interceptions.
Weaver mentioned that he has added a total of 15 pounds so far this offseason and is hoping to add another five before the season is under way.
Weaver recorded career-highs with 47 tackles, two forced, and three fumble recoveries
His teammates also spoke on the improved mindset Weaver has displayed this offseason.
‘He’s always been a hard worker, he always punches the clock, but I feel like it’s the way he punches the clock now,’ defensive lineman Octavious Oxendine said.
‘Our strength coach has been harping on us … it’s about how we do everything aggressively.
‘So, we need to do things more aggressively.When you go over the hurdles, go over aggressively. When you lift weight, lift the weight aggressively. Don’t just lift the weight. I feel like that’s one thing that’s changed about (Weaver), how he’s going about things.’