From an undrafted free agent out of the University of Virginia, to a Super Bowl Champion, Philadelphia Eagles safety Rodney McLeod has proven that hard work and sacrifice can lead to great things.
Rodney’s story is that of a guy who was constantly overlooked and underestimated. “I’m not the biggest, tallest, or fastest guy. There [are] a lot of things going against me, or [things] that people have said I couldn’t do, but I continue to search and gain that respect, day in and day out, whether it’s on the football field or just as a human being.”
Rodney’s NFL career began with the St. Louis Rams. Fighting for a job, he became the starting safety in his second season. Six years later, Rodney would go on to make a crucial play in Super Bowl LII, helping the Philadelphia Eagles bring the Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia for the first time in history.
With so much of his career still in front of him, Rodney understands what got him here. “You have to put in the work …[it’s] what you do when people aren’t looking. Then you have to sacrifice something. Whether that’s giving up video games as a kid, or getting off the phone a little early at night. I think any successful person [has] to sacrifice, and as a kid, those things obviously pull you away. Distractions.”
From his childhood to the present, Rodney has always understood who he is and the importance of the support around him. “That [Super Bowl] ring symbolizes a lot more than just me. It represents my entire family and everybody that’s played a huge role. What I try to tell people is in order to be successful, you’ve got to have a great support system and positive people around you, and that’s what I’ve got.”
Those searching for success can find inspiration in Rodney’s philosophy. “Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Continue to preach ‘yes.’”