There’s a Deaf NFL Player Who You Should Know About

Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman has been legally deaf since the age of 3.

By Jamilah King Sep 20, 2013

Seattle Seahawks fans have set world records for being the loudest in the NFL. But there’s at least one player whose attention is focused squarely on football, by neccessity. The team’s starting fullback Derrick Coleman is deaf. From Buzzfeed:

The former UCLA tailback has been legally deaf since the age of 3 and can only hear sounds and tones without the hearing aids, but that has never slowed him down on the football field, where he relies primarily on lip reading and hand signals. According to the recruiting website Coleman was the fifth-ranked high school fullback in the class of 2008 and during his four years at UCLA he rushed for over 1,700 yards and 19 touchdowns. Despite his success, he went undrafted in the spring of 2012.

Playing fullback is a relatively thankless job of blocking and setting up plays for the likes of Marshawn Lynch, one of the league’s leading rushers. But Coleman’s story is unique and important, too.