Friday, November 01, 2013

My Road to the NFL: by Benny Cunningham

     My NFL experience has been a roller coaster to say the least.  My senior year of college I ranked in the top ten in the nation in both rushing yards and touchdowns.  But the hype soon came to an end with a season ending knee injury mid way through the season forcing me to think about a life outside of football.  The night of my injury I received a call from Phillip Tanner whom I consider a brother/mentor.  He helped me to stay focused on my dreams and gave me advice because he had suffered a knee injury as well but still earned the opportunity to play in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys.

     Once I had my surgery I started my road to recovery with the NFL on my mind and I knew it would be challenging to even earn a chance.  So I did everything possible to give myself an opportunity to prove to the scouts that I could still play.  My days started at 7am and ended at 5pm with me putting all my time into my recovery.  Draft day came and my name wasn't called... at first I felt like my long days were a waste, until I received a call from the St Louis Rams later that day wanting to sign me as an undrafted free agent.  I felt that this opportunity was a blessing from God and all I needed to prove to the world is that my knee was fine and that I could play at this level.

     The first meeting with the team came and seeing so many undrafted players in the room and knowing that the number of spots were limited made every day nerve wrecking.  I had to do everything right and try to separate myself from the group.  As the group decreased my nerves along with the pressure increased.  The day came that the 53 was announced and I had made it, but I didn't get the rush of joy I thought I would because I knew that now I would have to fight to keep my spot.

     The season started and with each game I grew more confident that I could play at this level.  But once again I am faced with an obstacle.  Against the Houston Texans I suffered a high ankle sprain and I am forced to prove once again that an injury cannot keep me from achieving my goal!

Thanks Benny for the guest post.  Be sure to go follow him by clicking below!
Twitter: @BCunningham36
Instagram: BCunningham36

-Student of the Game


RedRiverQueen said...

"...Gonna stand my ground, won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won't back down..."

~ "I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

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