Derrick Coleman is a 23-year-old, second-year fullback on the Seahawks with one of the most interesting backgrounds of any player in the league.
He is the only legally deaf offensive player in NFL history.
Relying on lip-reading and other visual signals, Coleman has played the game of football for his entire life and has worked his way onto the roster of one of the best teams in the NFL.
Duracell, the popular battery company, used a 60-second ad to tell the inspiring story of Coleman and how he worked through doubt to ultimately end up in the NFL.
Coleman said he hoped the ad would inspire when Duracell came to them and asked him to star in their latest ad, via Seattle-PI:
“They came to me, and said they liked my story, and I said ‘OK’, I want to join up. I just hope to inspire people, especially children, to trust the power within and achieve their dreams.”
The ad, which received more than 2.6 million views in four days, features Coleman narrating through different stages of his life, explaining that he was “picked on” and told to give up on his football dreams.
“But I’ve been deaf since I was 3, so I didn’t listen,” says Coleman in the ad.
Though not drafted after coming out of UCLA, the Seahawks signed Coleman to their practice squad in December 2012.
This season, he has played in 12 games, recording two rushes for three yards and eight receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown.
Here is the ad, if you haven’t seen it already: