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- Kelce scored two touchdowns to help the Chiefs advance the the AFC title game
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Retired NFL wide receiver Jason Avant revealed that he was brought on by the Kansas City Chiefs to mentor a young Travis Kelce as he greatly struggled with immaturity in his early years.
Although Kelce has now bloomed into an ace on and off the field, Avant shared how he had to overcome and outgrow plenty of old habits to get to this point. The struggles, according to Avant, were remnants of Kelce’s collegiate years in Cincinnati.
‘Travis Kelce was getting suspended and kicked off the team for immature things, weed and other stuff like that. Just being young, basically,’ Avant told Action Network, via the Daily Star. ‘He stopped after joining the Chiefs, but now it’s legal so it wouldn’t matter now if he stopped it or not.’
While he admitted that the mishaps were a byproduct of his age, Avant also credited Kelce’s perfectionism and desire to be a professional.
‘Travis became a pro and realized he had to take this seriously and he’s been doing that ever since,’ he added.
Jason Avant, who mentored Travis Kelce early on, revealed that he struggled with immaturity
Avant revealed that Kelce was getting suspended and kicked out teams for his cannabis use
By the time Kelce was drafted by the Chiefs, he showed a desire to grow and be a professional
‘Travis Kelce is a perfectionist,’ Avant added. ‘I remember when coach Andy Reid took me there to help Kelce develop into a professional because he had a lot of immaturities coming out of college. He had a lot of issues and it was my job to help.’
Though he was hired to help the young tight end stay out of trouble, Avant’s mentorship led to a healthy relationship with Kelce as his stardom grew with the Chiefs’ success.
Avant shared how Kansas City losing the AFC Championship Game in 2019 to the Patriots became pivotal to Kelce’s character development.
‘He took that workmanlike approach because I wasn’t a guy who was ultra talented, but I would stay after practicing my catches,’ he said. ‘People asked me, how do you catch the ball so much?
‘Then we had a playoff game and all of them froze up because they have never been in that moment, and the coach recognized that the only person he could trust in this situation was me. We only lost to the Patriots by a very narrow margin, but he came to me and said: “Now I understand why Coach Reid had you here, and that’s the training.”’
Two Super Bowl titles later, Kelce’s spotlight grew even brighter as he began dating popstar Taylor Swift in 2023.
Despite dealing with the weight of the NFL and Swift’s colossal fanbases at once, Kelce has remained competitive, even when he struggled on the field.
During Kansas City’s divisional playoff game against the Buffalo Bills, Kelce broke a seven-game scoring drought with two crucial touchdowns to help them get a 27-24 win. In doing so, he and Patrick Mahomes became the highest-scoring quarterback-receiver duo in playoff history with 16 touchdowns.
Kelce’s spotlight grew bigger after winning two titles and dating popstar Taylor Swift in 2023
Kelce scored two touchdowns in a 27-24 win against Buffalo to advance to the AFC title game
Kelce and the Chiefs will take on the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens for a spot in the Super Bowl
The win set Kansas City up with a clash against the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC crown on Sunday as they look to win back-to-back Super Bowl titles.
After seeing what turned out be an already successful career, Avant couldn’t be happier that Kelce did not go down the wrong path like others before him.
‘It’s not just me when it comes to mentoring,’ Avant said. ‘They have to have the ability to want to do it. I told a bunch of other guys but they went down the wrong path instead.
‘It’s not that I did something, it’s more that some guys see it, you just have to convince them that they have talent and they can have a better future going down this path than the other path.’