Outside linebacker Haason Reddick’s NFL career almost didn’t happen.
Out of high school, Reddick was an often injured running back and safety who didn’t receive the overflow of offers custom to an eventual NFL player. In Reddick’s senior season, he fractured his femur, resulting in only playing four games. And there was a point in time when he wanted to quit football entirely.
His parents wouldn’t let him. Instead, they helped him figure out how to walk on at Temple University, whereby his senior year, he was named First Team All-AAC after recording 65 tackles and 10.5 sacks as a defensive end.
“Coming out of high school, I didn’t know about walking on,” Reddick said on the Eagles’ website. “At the time, I thought football was done for me. But once I figured out the process of walking on, that was the next step for me. “
As a walk-on at Temple Reddick had to make the most of his limited opportunities. He knew that walk-ons don’t get the same fanfare or attention, so he made the best of a finite amount of snaps — turning himself into a difference maker.
“It was still hard,” he said. “I worked hard to get the respect I deserved. And then my effort made me undeniable.”
Reddick turned a nearly non-existent football career into an established NFL one, where he’s played for the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers and now Philadelphia Eagles.
In his five-year career, Reddick has amassed 199 solo tackles, 11 forced fumbles and 31 sacks across 80 games.
He’s managed to play in 16 games every year he’s been in the league.
It’s hard to imagine that there was a point in time when he thought he wouldn’t be able to play football anymore due to injuries. That point in time seems like a distant memory.
“I am always challenging myself,” Reddick said. “I’m going to continue to push past the limits.”
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Feature image via Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.