You may not be a Seattle Seahawks fan, but you’ll be rooting for #40 before this Duracell commercial is over. In the ad, Fullback Derrick Coleman recounts his struggle to achieve his dreams in sports. According to USA Today:
Coleman lost his hearing at the age of 3, and got by using hearing aids and an ability to read lips. Raised in Los Angeles, Coleman was a star fullback at Troy High School (Fullerton, CA) and was rated the #2 fullback in the country entering college. After a standout career at UCLA, including a senior year that saw him rush for 765 yards and score 11 touchdowns along with his excellent blocking, Coleman put his name in for the 2012 NFL draft…and no one picked him.
The 23-year-old California native defied the odds by pursuing sports despite coaches who couldn’t communicate well with him, and people who picked on and didn’t understand him. Coleman completed incredible football careers in both high school and college (UCLA), but his first try at the NFL after college didn’t work out. But Derrick didn’t give up, trying again the following year. Ultimately, his aspiration of playing in the NFL became a reality – not because of luck, but because of drive and dedication.
They told me it couldn’t be done, that I was a lost cause. I was picked on, and picked last. Coaches didn’t know how to talk to me. They gave up on me, told me I should just quit. They didn’t call my name. They told me it was over. But I’ve been deaf since I was three, so I didn’t listen. And now I’m here, with a lot of fans in the NFL cheering me on, and I can hear them all.