New Orleans Saints offensive lineman Aderious Simmons’ story is one of those “against all odds” sagas that NFL fans love.
After playing basketball in high school, Simmons and his family ended up in a FEMA trailer parked in Mississippi after Katrina. Trying to help support his family, it was a while before Simmons even took the SAT.
Amazingly, the Miami Hurricanes called him down for a tryout, but the fact that he had never even worn pads launched him on a cross-country odyssey that included numerous stops at community colleges before being spotted by an Arizona State scout in Torrance, California.
New Orleans isn’t the same place that he left and most of the people he knew are elsewhere, but Simmons is still home again.
The former Sun Devils giant, 6’7” Simmons sports more traditional NFL size than the previous linemen listed. Although he was hampered by an ankle injury in 2011 that may have hurt his draft stock, Simmons clearly has the mental toughness to claw his way onto his hometown team.
At 5’11”, Chicago Bears linebacker (for now) Adrien Cole has his work cut out for him. But hard work doesn’t seem to be an issue for the former Louisiana Tech backer.
He may be short, but he’s almost six feet of concrete on legs and he can tackle.
Dan Kadar of mockingthedraft.com notes that Cole had 121 tackles last year and called him “a powerful player.”
He needs to have one heck of a training camp to have a shot, but this is the kind of guy you want on your team.
After the Poinsettia Bowl, Cole and teammate Quinton Patton gave away their bowl-game gift cards and watches to two youngsters at a Make-A-Wish holiday party.
"They're just material things. They need it more than I do."
Louisiana Tech reports that a bowl representative could not recall any player ever doing that in the history of the event.
Tampa Bay’s new head coach Greg Schiano may have no professional head coaching experience, but he has proven that he has a heart.
Former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand was paralyzed in 2010 during a kickoff return, but he was signed to a contract by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.
Unfortunately, the gesture is purely symbolic and doesn’t carry any of the financial compensation that LeGrand could surely use, but Schiano said he wanted to extend the contract to “recognize [Eric’s] character, spirit and perseverance."
To say the least. LeGrand resumed classes via video conference and will graduate with his class after returning to school in 2011.
He has been able to stand with a metal frame and hopes to become a broadcaster. In Florida, perhaps?
Junior Seau's death was the opposite of a feel-good event, but perhaps we can all change now.
Huffington Post: Changing the NFL Forever.