A feel-good story to end the season.
Watson, 23, went undrafted in 2015 out of Division II Azusa Pacific. He signed with the Bengals’ practice squad that year, and also has landed on the Browns’ and Broncos’ practice squads this season.
In a story from this past summer, the Guardian’s Les Carpenter told Watson’s back story, one that feels too good to be true. Watson was left on a doorstep when he was just a few weeks old, and his parents, Billy and Janice Watson, took him in to their Oxnard, Ca., home. They raised him, and his brother and sister, along with their first child. He dealt with a learning disability, but pushed through it and overcame it, broke collegiate rushing records, and is now an NFL running back.
From Carpenter’s piece:
The baby with the beautiful green eyes would grow up as their son; a happy bubbly child, always making friends. And Terrell Watson needed everything Billy and Janice could give, because things that came easily to others did not for him. He couldn’t sound words. He struggled to read. His school years would be spent in special education classes where teachers sometimes wondered what kind of future he’d have.
But there was also this about the boy left in the basket on the doorstep: he was determined to read. “I don’t have no disability,” he told his parents, trying to decipher the jumble of letters in the school books before him. When he was done agonizing over his words he went to the football field, where he too was determined to be great: building his body, straining to run faster while refusing to listen to those who said a kid in special education could never play professional football.
This is how Terrell Watson became the most improbable running back in the NFL.
He is standing now on the Cleveland Browns practice fields in Berea, Ohio, looking past the goalposts and laughing. The team’s last spring mini-camp has just finished, and there seems to be an excellent chance that at 22, having already been left on a doorstep and pulled through special education classes, he will make the team this fall. The boy who could never read now can as a man because he forced himself to figure them out, just as he is forcing himself – undrafted and from a tiny college, Azusa Pacific, that many football fans have never heard of – on to an NFL roster.
Seriously, just read the whole thing, and get excited that the Eagles have such a high-character person in the locker room, if only for two weeks.
This post first appeared on Bleeding Green Nation, A Philadelphia Eagles Commu, please read the originial post: here