If you don’t have it in you to persist through the storm, you should just give up on your dreams.  I’m serious.  Nothing worth having comes easy.  Especially playing pro football.  To help inspire you to stick to your dreams, from time-to-time, I’ll be adding more stories to this Perseverance Stories series.

First up, is the story of Cortez Allen, rookie cornerback with the Pittsburgh Steelers.   Normally, when we think of NFL players, we think of them being All World players in high school, starting on the varsity team early-on in their high school careers.

Not Cortez.  He never even played varsity football until his senior year in high school.

You see, Cortez tried to play on the freshman squad when he first got to high school, but missed the season due to a groin injury.  As his sophomore year approached, his father made him pick a sport to focus on, so he chose basketball.  Junior year rolled-around, and he switched to football.  “And the rest was history”, you say?

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Cortez attended The Citadel, a military academy where about a third of its graduating students will go on to serve in various branches of the armed services.

Not hardly.

Cortez spent his junior year in high school on the junior varsity team.  Did he get upset, and protest the coaching staff for not putting him on the varsity team?  Nope.  He busted his butt and used it as motivation.

Senior season rolled-around, and at last, Cortez finally got to put on that varsity jersey.  His hard work paid-off, as he played well enough to earn multiple Division 1 scholarship offers.  Cortez eventually said “no thanks” to the University of Cincinnati’s offer, and chose to attend The Citadel.

The adversity for Allen didn’t stop here, either.  Playing sparingly as a true freshman in 2006, he missed the entire 2007 season after tearing his ACL playing pickup basketball.  In 2008, as a sophomore, he returned to the field, playing part time.

 

In 2009, Cortez started at cornerback, recording 3 interceptions as a junior, and earned Second Team All Southern Conference laurels.  At the end of the 2010 season, Cortez had recorded 2 more interceptions, and played well enough to earn an invite to the East West Shrine Game and the NFL Combine, where he impressed NFL scouts and decision makers enough that he was picked in the fourth round of the NFL Draft, becoming the 16th player in Citadel history to make it to the NFL.

What if he would’ve quit after not making the varsity team his junior year?  What if he would’ve quit after tearing his ACL in college?

My point is that, just because things may not be going for you like you’d like for them to go, it’s not an excuse to give up.  You just never know…  Your path to your dream could just be a different path than the norm.

Stay tuned for more Perseverance Stories.

Be hungry.  Be unstoppable.

Let’s get it!

What obstacles have you overcame to get where you are right now?  Do you know someone personally that has an incredible story of perseverance and determination?  I wanna hear from you in the comments section of this post!  Share the story with us!

Check out a brief interview with Cortez, as he gives advice to other players that want to reach his level of success.

http://youtu.be/yBlQOl–DLc 

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