Colton Jumper is back on the market and looking for a place to play college football.
The two-time all-state linebacker at Baylor signed with Navy in February, choosing the Midshipmen over the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He was all set to report to Annapolis, Md., next Tuesday, when the bad news came.
About three months ago, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Jumper went through a series of medical tests that are standard for anyone headed to Navy. One test revealed that he had a kidney disease called membranous nephropathy.
"I would have never known about this if I hadn't gone and done the medical things for Navy," Jumper said Wednesday. "I've got no symptoms, I can play football, I can do everything -- but it's just one of those things, if you have this it's a disqualifier for the military."
According to MayoClinic.com, membranous nephropathy causes small blood vessels in the kidney to become inflamed and thickened, causing proteins to leak into the urine. In some cases, the disease can cause kidney failure. In others, patients can get better without any treatment.
Jumper said he's been told by his doctor that his condition could disappear in as little as six months. He said his only medication is a small dose of prednisone.
Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo tried to get a waiver for him, but Jumper said he found out Tuesday while on vacation -- a week before he was supposed to report -- that the waiver had been denied.
"You're just so shell-shocked at first, but I'm going to look back at this in 30 years and say, 'This is why this happened,'" he said. "I've just got to trust what's going on and keep on working. But I'm still in shock."
What's next for Jumper will be determined in the next few weeks. UTC could be in the mix, he said, but he will weigh his options -- among them is to do a post-graduate year somewhere and get recruited all over again.
"I haven't really gotten around to calling coaches or anything like that," he said. "There's also a [post-graduate] year and I could go do that, and if I do that I think I could be a lot more highly recruited than I was this year.
"Calling coaches is something that will be coming in the next day or so."
Jumper said he had a brief conversation with UTC recruiting coordinator Will Healy on Tuesday. He said he expected to talk more with UTC this week. Mocs coach Russ Huesman said last week after signing former Bradley Central wide receiver James Stovall, who also had originally signed with Navy, that the Mocs went into the summer looking for wide receivers and linebackers.
Rated a two-star prospect by Rivals.com, Jumper had 132 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and eight sacks during his senior season.
Contact John Frierson at email@example.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MocsBeat.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...