Kettani has sold several pieces to his current Redskins teammates and will help put on a show for charity this spring with long-time Washington tight end Chris Cooley, who owns an art studio in Leesburg, Va. Along with his fledgling career as a painter, Kettani started his own clothing line last year called "State Roots." Even Robert Griffin III, the team's uber-talented but now injured rookie quarterback, bought one of Kettani's T-shirts.

The three-year contract he recently signed with the Redskins gives the 25-year-old Kettani hope that he can finally get a firm hold on playing in a league where fullbacks are becoming more rare — if not totally extinct.

"I had a great time there [with the Redskins] and being on the practice squad I got a chance to showcase my skills," said Kettani, one of only two Midshipmen to rush for over 2,000 yards in his college career.

Kettani can see himself becoming a more serious painter after his playing days are over. He hopes that doesn't happen soon but understands the odds against him having a long NFL career.

"I take things day by day," he said. "When I was with New England, I started all four preseason games and then I was the last cut. The NFL is a business. Things can happen. I just take it day by day and get ready for next season."

Though Kettani is no longer with the team, Kraft is appreciative of what he has left behind. In a December interview with the Washington Post, Kraft said of Kettani's painting, "I was just so overwhelmed. It meant so much to me that while he was on reserve, he found time to create it. To be honest, seeing it there serves as a special memory of a special season."

Kettani even inscribed the initials of Kraft's late wife, Myra, into the top-right corner of the piece.

"When [Cundiff] missed that kick, the whole building felt like it was Myra blowing the kick left," Kraft said in the interview with the Post. "This painting is a way for me to hold on to her memory. It really is special to me."

Kettani said he will be pulling for the Patriots on Sunday.

"They gave me a shot and I really appreciated it," he said.

Part of that appreciation can be found in Kraft's office at Patriot Place.

Just don't tell Billy Cundiff.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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