Train Conductor Turns Down the New York Jets

Man chooses family obligations over fame in the NFL.

Posted:
 
keith20fitzhugh
Norfolk Southern Railroad operator Keith Fitzhugh

Keith Fitzhugh, a train operator, has chosen to stay with Norfolk Southern Railroad rather than accept a free-agent safety position with the New York Jets. Fitzhugh says he wants to stay on track financially, since he is helping to support his parents financially in Atlanta. Fitzhugh's father, Keith Sr., is disabled and unable to work, while his mother, Meltonia, has been struggling to make ends meet. The Associated Press says that Fitzhugh stated, ''I've got something now where I know every two weeks I'm getting a paycheck,'' in a telephone interview Tuesday night. ''That's what helps out the most right now. I don't knock the Jets at all. I highly appreciate them.'' 

Jets coach Rex Ryan said the team was looking to sign a safety after Jim Leonhard was lost for the season last week with a broken shin and James Ihedigbo suffered a leg injury in New York's 45-3 loss to New England on Monday night. New York has only two safeties -- Eric Smith and Brodney Pool -- listed on its roster. The 24-year-old Fitzhugh, who had stints in camp with the Jets during the past two years, was contacted by the team but declined New York's offer to return. Fitzhugh went undrafted after an outstanding career at Mississippi State and signed last year with the Jets as a free agent. He was later cut and signed to the practice squad before Baltimore signed him last December. He re-signed with the Jets in the off-season. Fitzhugh is putting family before fame. Some overindulged athletes need to take note.

Read more at Fox Sports.