If you simply looked at the on-field struggles of Da’Quan Bowers, you’d be amazed he still has fight left in him. The 6’4, 280-pound defensive end was a projected number one overall NFL draft pick for the 2011 NFL Draft after collecting multiple collegiate awards for his on-field play.
Then NFL teams began to poke and prod at Da’Quan, reviewing medical issues and an offseason knee injury. Questions arose and teams began to run away from the once “unstoppable” defensive end. Instead of going first overall to the Carolina Panthers, Da’Quan dropped to the 51st pick in the draft where Tampa Bay grabbed him.
Frustrating for many, but for Da’Quan, it is an opportunity he will gladly thank Tampa for – and make all teams before regret passing on him.
Handling professional disappointment is one thing. Dealing with it while balancing a whirlwind of events off the field is more impressive. During college, within a nine-month span, Da’Quan’s father, his mentor/ former teammate Gaines Adams died, and his high school advisor all died. It was a heavy load for any one man to shoulder.
Da’Quan lead the nation in sacks his junior year and dedicated each play to those three men who helped shape his life.
Now in the NFL, Da’Quan appeared in all 16 games as a rookie, including a starting role in four during the 2011 season.. As the year progressed, signs of his former All-American self emerged. Expectations for the young man were high this season until a torn Achilles in May set back his entire 2012 year. Despite concerns he’ll miss all season, Da’Quan is determined to get back on the field this season.
Da’Quan’s surgery was successful and now it all comes down to his rehab program and if he can push himself to get back on the field with a full bill of health. After everything he has been through on and off the field to this point in his life, do not doubt his ability to overcome.
Da’Quan’s resilience proves that no matter what life may throw at a person, if they are resolute to continue down the road they believe in, nothing can stand in their way.