|(USA Today photo)|
Courtesy of Bowie State Athletics
BOWIE, Md. – As the 2015 NFL Super Bowl kicks off today, the Bowie State University football program coaching staff, current and former players will have more than just a casual interest as one of our own, suits up to represent one of the teams.
Douglas McNeil, III will get his first experience as a player on the NFL’s biggest stage. The Seattle receiver will become the 2nd player in Bulldog history (Isaac Redman, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers, (Super Bowl XLV – 2010) to be a part of a Super Bowl roster.
“After the championship win over the Packers, I realized I would be going to the Super Bowl and it was truly a surreal moment,” McNeil said. “It’s the one night the world stops to watch two teams compete for the prized Lombardi Trophy. It’s moments like this, my inner child smiles from ear to ear.”
Getting to this point hasn’t been easy. With stops in the Arena League (Portland Thunder) then the Denver Broncos, McNeil was asked what Bowie State football memories helped propel him forward?
“Hard work and dedication behind the scenes people don’t see. The late nights in the weight room, the field work, the grind that I put in with my brothers. I reflect on those moments the most because they prepared me for the position I’m in today,” said McNeil.
McNeil said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll does a great job of preparing the team week to week and making sure they are conscious of the fact that the routine doesn’t change. Veteran teammate Ricardo Lockette has shown McNeill the ropes as far as being a professional football player from how to approach practice and route concepts to just giving words of encouragement to the young receiver.
So what advice does McNeil have for those following in his footsteps?
“Learn how to separate yourself … Everybody will not have the same drive, dreams, goals and work ethic as you do,” McNeil said. “Many people say they want it, but they really don’t and only kind of want it. The thought of it sounds good to them. For those who really mean it, diligently and consistently for what you want … Good things come to those who work and FINAO (Failure Is Not an Option)”.