|Date of birth:||April 18, 1967|
|Place of birth:||Bartow, Florida|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||187 lb (85 kg)|
|High school:||Lakeland (FL) Kathleen|
|College:||Albany State (GA)|
|NFL draft:||1990 / Round: 9 / Pick: 221|
|Career highlights and awards|
Career NFL statistics
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Kenneth Dwayne Gant (born April 18, 1967) is a former American professional football athlete. He played the safety position while in the National Football League teams Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His nickname with the Cowboys was "The Shark". On the field, Gant had most of his impact on special teams, however, Cowboys fans remember him mostly for his celebratory antics called "The Shark Dance".
Gant was born in Bartow and attended Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Florida. He received a scholarship to play college football at Albany State University, where although he came in as an offensive player, he was converted to the defensive side and became a four-year starter at cornerback.
As a junior he recorded 55 tackles, 3 sacks and 6 passes defensed. He registered 5 interceptions as a senior and finished his college career with 14 interceptions and 15 passes defensed.
Gant was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 9th round of the 1990 NFL draft. During training camp he was tried at cornerback, but the team eventually moved him to safety. As a rookie, he quickly became one of the best players in the special teams unit.
In 1991, from his gunner position, he led the Cowboys special teams with 25 tackles. By 1992 he was a key part of the team's nickel defense, that led the NFL in preventing third-down conversions, allowing opponents a conversion rate of 27.2 percent. He also finished with 9 quarterback pressures, tied for the team lead in interceptions (3) and led all reserve players in total tackles (54). In 1993, he was third on the team with 17 special teams tackles.
Gant is considered to be one of the best special teams players in franchise history, while he was a member of the Cowboys Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII championship teams. He was nicknamed "The Shark" because during the 1992 season, before every kickoff and after making big plays, he would perform a celebratory dance dubbed "The Shark Dance". Typically, he would strut around, flapping his elbows while holding his hand over his head to simulate a shark's dorsal fin, a move that he learned from teammate Kevin Smith, who called it "the Shark Fin" from his days at Texas A&M University, where defensive backs used it to celebrate.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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- New York Times Staff (29 November 1997). "Transactions". New York Times. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- Mullenax, Steven (30 August 2011). "Whatever happened to the dancing Kenny "The Shark" Gant?". The Landry Hat. Retrieved 25 May 2014.