I do so many posts about people in the music and acting industry, so it’s time for me to switch it up a bit and do something for us sports junkies out there! I mean, after all…football season is amongst us! I know that there is some little boy who wants to make it into the NFL, but may not know where to start or understand what could make him a potential professional player. What better way to get any of this information than to reach out to someone who’s been there and who’s done that?! I had the pleasure of picking the brain of the eccentric, Hugh Douglas.
Born in Ohio and a Central State University alum (also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.), Hugh is a former NFL player who’s made his way around the league with the Eagles (oh yeah!), Jets and Jaguars. This powerhouse was a first round draft choice of the Jets in 1995 and a 3-time Pro Bowl selection. In 1998 Douglas was traded to the Eagles where he would play for 5 years before moving on to the Jaguars. Re-signing with the Eagles, he was later cut before the start of the 2005 season. You can still see Douglas as a sports analyst for ESPN. He’s straight and to the point, but he has some good tips for young men making their way into the league!
Which team was your favorite and why (you better say the Eagles lol)?
As a matter of fact it was the Pittsburgh Steelers.. I was a fan of Mean Joe Green!
What’s a big thing young athletes need to be cautious/aware of before entering the NFL?
That everyone is watching you now. You have to learn how to conduct yourself in public.
What was the transition from NFL player to front office employee like?
It was a little different. Now you’re not one of the guys anymore, you’re management .. And everyone watches what they say when they are around you. But after awhile it was cool.
What do you say to the young athlete who has all the skills, but a bad attitude?
You need to get it together son!! Just because you have the skills doesn’t always mean you make it. You should be humble at all times
Speak to the young guys dreaming of an NFL career, what’s their first step in making their dreams come true?
Work hard . Get good grades and stay humble.
What do you miss most about playing?
What major differences do you see between the players you played with versus the young players now?
More players now are sensitive to what people say about them. If you don’t like it don’t read the paper!!
If there was one thing that you could do differently throughout your whole career, what would it be?
One thing…I would have never went to Jacksonville.
They say fame and money change people, how did you manage to remain grounded? Did your friends/family begin to treat you differently once you reached success?
Football never defined me as a person .. It was just a job
What’s one funny/quirky thing fans may not know about you?
Hmmmmm. I’m really shy!