Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:24 AM
Upton (9,709 posts)
49ers draft player with sickle cell anemia..
The 49ers ended the their draft by using their seventh-round selection on Virginia defensive end Cam Johnson, who projects to move to outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense.
A three-year starter who had 12.5 sacks and 32.5 tackles for loss in his career, Johnson played outside linebacker his first two seasons in college before moving to defensive end under a new coaching regime for his final two years. His best season, statistically, came as a junior when he had team-highs in sacks (6.5) and tackles for loss (14.5)
Johnson was projected by some experts to go higher in the draft. He might have fallen due to the fact that he has sickle-cell anemia, a genetic disorder that can result in extreme fatigue during exercise.
You can go hard for two or three plays; then, on that fifth or sixth play, you’re gassed,” Virginia coach Mike London said in this Roanoke Times article from before the 2011 season. “In workouts this summer with (strength coach) Evan (Marcus), he’d be out front, out front, out front. Then, all of a sudden, it’s ‘What are you doing?’ Now it becomes a matter of management. Get him out, get him rested, get him back in.” In August, Johnson declined to give interviews regarding his medical situation. Asked today if he had any health issues that might have caused his draft stock to slip, Johnson didn’t mention his condition.
I don't know much about this disease other than it's a genetic disorder exclusive to African Americans. This is an interesting selection...it's the 7th round, where you can take a flyer on a player who was projected to go much higher but dropped because of a medical condition.
The 49ers had a creative draft, complete with a few surprises. Good for them for taking a chance on this guy..
6 replies, 1177 views
49ers draft player with sickle cell anemia.. (Original post)
Response to Upton (Original post)
Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:00 AM
JonLP24 (14,848 posts)
1. It isn't exclusive to African-Americans
but more prevalent to AAs in North America. It also fairly common to the Hispanic population in North America(which ancestors experienced malaria outbreaks in Central, South-America). The way to get it is inherit the sickle genes from your parents which would be commonly descendants from populations that experienced malaria outbreaks in Africa, Middle East, and East Asia. People living in those areas experience it at much higher rates across ethnicities that have ancestry there. Rates of African-Americans inherited the trait are lower then that region IIRC - due to non-African & other parts of Africa that didn't experience malaria outbreaks ancestry. It is possible for any ethnicity to get it if they have the genes passed down to them.
Anyways, I don't know much about it other than that. Ryan Clark for the Steelers has sickle cell trait which I believe is one or fewer genes than the sickle cell disease and fewer complications. RC only seemed to have a difficult problem with it that one game in Denver which is higher altitude. He sits out every game at Denver even when doctors clear him and did so during the recent playoffs.
Response to JonLP24 (Reply #1)
Sun Apr 29, 2012, 08:48 PM
Upton (9,709 posts)
6. Thanks for the information..
I looked up Ryan Clark, and he actually lost his spleen and gall bladder after playing in Denver in 2007. It shook my memory, because now it seems I remember Clark's problems being mentioned as the reason why he wasn't playing in the Steelers/Broncos playoff game.
Obviously, the 49ers new draft choice will have to be closely monitored.
Response to madinmaryland (Reply #4)
Sun Apr 29, 2012, 06:32 PM
KamaAina (53,872 posts)
5. Tebow does not have a learning disability which you cannot prove so stop saying that!
The lack of a soul is not considered a disability under the ADA.