New England Patriots‘ cornerback Kyle Arrington has quietly handled his business on and off the field since entering into the league in 2008. For Arrington, it was a long winding path that ultimately propelled him to having a successful career. Even in the midst of adversity, Arrington remained confident in his abilities and himself.
Kyle Arrington credits his terrific two parent upbringing as the unmovable foundation in his life. “I couldn’t have asked for better role models,” Arrington told Pro Player Insiders. “Mom and dad were very supportive of any and everything I did — whether it was Tae-Kwon-Do and when I got to high school it was football and basketball. I couldn’t have asked for a better upbringing.”
He continued, “they sacrificed a lot for not only myself but my sister. They’ve made every event. I can’t remember them missing a single event I had growing up starting at little league. That goes for me and my sister. Just to see their hard work and dedication as far as them raising us. Those are some hard shoes to fill as a parent myself now. So it’s definitely something that’s kind of hard to live up to.”
Now a father and husband, Kyle Arrington has found himself at a new stage in life. On March 17, 2012, Arrington married his girlfriend, Vashonda Murphy. Almost exactly a year later, on March 16, their first child named Kyle Chandler Arrington Jr. was born. “It was a blessing,” said the proud husband turned father. “Getting married and then having a child — I’m a happy man, couldn’t ask for more.”
Of course, with every transition in life, there’s always an adjustment period. Arrington says getting married and becoming a father was no exception. He joked, “I’m a very neat and orderly person myself. My wife, eh, not necessarily as much.”
Kyle Arrington is from a very prestigious community I call “the 210″ which is another name for Indian Highway. 210 is what connects several areas outside of Washington, D.C., such as: Fort Washington and Oxon Hill, MD. It also connects a small area called Accokeek, which is where Kyle Arrington was raised. He graduated from Gwynn Park High School in Brandywine, MD.
Along with Arrington, the “210″ area has developed many successful athletes including two Cleveland Browns — Joe Haden and Phil Taylor. “My senior year we had we had a lot of talent,” Arrington said of the athletic department at Gwynn Park HS. “We had a couple sophomores — Phil [Taylor] — a lot of people know big Phil and what he’s gone on to do. We also had a couple guys who went on and played at the University of Maryland — Quintin McCree, Adrian Moten, [Rashad] Roc Carmichael went to VTech — so we had a lot of talent my senior year. Not just myself and fellow seniors but the younger class as well. I believe [Joe] Haden was a sophomore as well my senior year. So there was a lot of talent not only my school but the area — PG County.”
Joe Haden went to Gwynn Park’s rival school Friendly High in Fort Washington, MD. When Gwynn Park and Friendly strap up against each other, it always draws a huge crowd. Those two schools absolutely do not like each other. That, of course, consistently makes for some good High School football.
Arrington didn’t play varsity football until his senior year because he considered himself a hooper. “I only played one year of varsity [foot]ball. I was trying to get my Dwyane Wade perfect jumper on. But, uh, that didn’t work out too well.”
So when asked what his most memorable game vs Friendly was — Arrington mentioned his first game playing varsity football. “My senior year we opened up first game at Friendly (we don’t normally do Friday night games at Gwynn Park) so Friday night game under the lights. Of course that’s our rival team — them and [Frederick] Douglas HS. It was a big crowd out there — it was my first game ever as a varsity football player. I played corner and punt/kick returner. I had like over 100 yards in the return game and an interception. So it was a big game — big coming out party for me.”
After high school, Kyle Arrington went on to play collegiate football at Hofstra University. Arrington labeled the transition as being different. “Just the demographics itself. Coming from a predominantly African American area and then going up to Long Island — it’s very segregated. I think when I was there it was like the third most segregated place in the country. But it was definitely a great experience because we had a lot of different nationalities — ethnicities. So it was a tremendous experience. I learned a lot. Not only playing football, but in life in general.”
In 2008, Kyle Arrington became one of Hofstra’s last football players to make in the NFL. Hofstra’s football program was cut in 2009 due to costs and a decline of interest.
Arrington went undrafted but received his first opportunity with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was eventually signed to the team’s practice squad but released prior to the regular season. The cornerback’s next opportunity came with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers where he spent the remainder of the 2008 season on their practice squad. In 2009, however, Arrington was waived by the team early that season. On November 8 that year, Arrington finally found himself a home in New England with the Patriots.
When asked what it took to fight through adversity early in his career, Arrington simply said confidence. “Confidence in yourself, your craft and what you want to do. There’s always going to be roadblocks. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Unfortunately it didn’t work out being an undrafted rookie free agent coming out being in Philly then Tampa. But I was able to find a good fit in New England. It’s just undeniable work ethic. Stay hungry, be hungry. It’s cliche, but it’s true — it doesn’t matter where you come from or what team you go to — if you’re good enough they’ll find you.”
Kyle Arrington couldn’t have hoped for a better team to find him. The New England Patriots are one of the league’s flagship teams. “It’s just a tremendous organization — top to bottom,” said Arrington. “[Owner] Robert Craft and the Craft family are just very outstanding people in regards to giving back to the community. They teach us not only to be pillars on the football field but also pillars in the community. So they take tremendous effort to do a lot of events — show up and give back as far as being out in the community. And that’s what it’s all about because it’s just a tremendous amount of support and following. We’re one of the only teams that has like five states rooting for us. So definitely we want to give back and show our thanks.”
Facts About Kyle Arrington:
Sneaker Head: “I fancy myself as a sneaker connoisseur,” said Arrington. “I have a good number of kicks.” When asked what his favorite sneaker is, Arrington had to list a few brands. “I’d have to go with brands because I have so many — anything Jordan, Kobe and Lebron right now. And I have to represent KD [Kevin Durant], you know he’s a hometown kid I have to represent.”
Breakfast All Day, Everyday: “I’m a huge breakfast guy. I can eat breakfast anytime of the day. My wife asks me sometimes — what do you want for dinner? And 365 days of the year I’m going to tell her to make some pancakes, french toast or something. If I had to throw out a favorite breakfast spot — if it ain’t broke don’t fix it — I was born and raised with Ihop. I don’t get around much when it comes to trying new things, because I’m definitely a guy who’s like — if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
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