Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins says quitting alcohol changed his life

Austin Seferian-Jenkins said he attended rehab this offseason for his drinking problem. (AP)

New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has shown tremendous talent on the football field, ever since college. And alcohol has been a regular part of Seferian-Jenkins’ football story, ever since college.

Seferian-Jenkins got help for his alcohol issues, going to rehab this offseason. He told ESPN.com on Tuesday that he has been sober for 129 days.

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Alcohol issues have held Seferian-Jenkins’ career back. He dropped in the draft after a DUI in college. After another DUI last season, Seferian-Jenkins was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who once used a second-round pick on him. That arrest cost him a two-game suspension, which he’ll serve at the start of this season. Even after he was cut and picked up by the Jets, ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini wrote that Seferian-Jenkins kept drinking and his weight got up to 285 pounds, 25 more than his normal playing weight.

After the season ended, he got help.

“Knowing you need help and you don’t go get it, that’s the worst thing,” Seferian-Jenkins told ESPN. “I was scared to get help. I was scared and embarrassed to tell people I have a problem.”

According to ESPN, Seferian-Jenkins attended outpatient rehab four times a week. He told ESPN he has had a “transformation” since quitting drinking and it “really has changed my life.” He credited the Jets for supporting him as he got help.

The transformation is showing on the field so far. Jets media has talked about how Seferian-Jenkins is looking good during OTA sessions. He dropped the 25 extra pounds in the offseason. Although Seferian-Jenkins has just 713 yards in three NFL seasons, it’s not out of the question he could turn his career around. He came into the league with a lot of promise after a good career at the University of Washington, and is just 24 years old.

Jenkins still has time to establish himself as an NFL player. Recognizing he had a problem and seeking help has put him on a better path.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!