Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman released one of the most incredible commercials you will ever see last week. His performance is still resonating with fans, including a young girl who also has a hearing impairment.
Her mother shared the girl's letter to Coleman on Twitter.
Coleman lost his hearing at the age of 3, and got by using hearing aids and an ability to read lips. Raised in Los Angeles, Coleman was a star fullback at Troy High School (Fullerton, CA) and was rated the #2 fullback in the country entering college. After a standout career at UCLA, including a senior year that saw him rush for 765 yards and score 11 touchdowns along with his excellent blocking, Coleman put his name in for the 2012 NFL draft…and no one picked him.
Was it because NFL teams didn't want to deal with having to coach a deaf player? It's impossible to know, but Coleman didn't let it discourage him. He waited a year and tried again, this time hooking on with the Seahawks in training camp. He impressed coaches with his blocking and special teams, and head coach Pete Carroll decided to keep him on the 53-man roster, where he's stayed to this day.
Coleman doesn't use his impaired hearing as an excuse for anything. He wears two skullcaps to keep his hearing aids securely fastened during the game (in the commercial you see him applying tape to keep them on) and he makes sure QBs know to look at him when calling the plays so he can read their lips.