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Marla Ridenour on Sports

What fans admire about Cribbs

By Marla Published: November 1, 2010

Over 15,000 fans showed up at Dix Stadium Saturday as Kent State retired the number worn by Browns' Pro Bowl receiver/returner Joshua Cribbs. Cribbs donated $100,000 to the school's football program during the halftime ceremony.

Here's what some of those wearing Cribbs' numbers (the Browns' 16 or KSU's 9) said they admired about Cribbs.

"The thing that amazes me most is he was a quarterback in college, not a lot of contact, he was protected a lot,'' said Brad Hart of North Ridgeville. ''To see him switch and change roles, being as fearless as he is as a kick returner is amazing.''

Chris Phelps of Parma, Kent State class of 1997, said he played tight end for the Golden Flashes.

''He's taken over for LeBron James as far as the leader in town,'' Phelps said. ''His blue collar mentality ... Cleveland fans are looking for someone to root for and look up to. He does a lot of charity work, is very visible in the community. More sports stars should be like him. He represents himself, Kent State and the Cleveland community very well.''

Tom Casale of Akron said he watched Cribbs' exploits with the Browns while stationed at Camp LeJeune, N.C. with the Marine Corps.

''His dedication to the team, his overall football skills, are what I admire,'' Casale said.

Added Casale's companion, ''And he's fast.''

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