Seattle, WA- Obstacles will come and go but everyone has to go through the imperfect process of life, in order to gain who they are, what they want, and how they will survive when the odds are stacked against them. Jacksonville Jaguars unsung hero Jaydon Mickens experienced the hardships of life in many different ways. Growing up he lived in a very rough and hostile environment where you only saw a handful of positive people. “Where I am from, it was rough. There was not much positive support and not many opportunities were available.” However, Mickens defined the odds and worked his way up to making it to the pros.
However, Mickens had to overcome another obstacle once he was released from the Oakland Raiders, which was bouncing back from getting released. “I was a little down on myself, but this is something that I wanted. I was determined to show people that I am going to be in the league. I was not going to quit because somebody or an organization didn’t think I would fit. I told myself that if other players could do it, I could make it.”
Mickens worked and worked and worked until people started to take interest in him. The Jaguars heard about Mickens and asked him if he could try out. After tryouts, Mickens still had to showcase his talents in practice and outwork all of the other individuals that had tried out. Mickens knew this was his moment and he dedicated himself to the job at hand, which was to be the best that he can be on and off the field.
The unique story of Mickens that defined how bad he wanted his dream was Mickens sleeping in his car after coming to Jacksonville. “It was hard, but I knew my faith in God would help. I just knew that something good was going to happen.”
Something did happen, Jacksonville loved what he did in practice, and moved him into a starting role on special teams. One thing led to another and it was fate at first sight with the organization and Mickens.
Mickens has stepped it up with being a game changer on special teams and it has paid off. This year specifically has been something short of amazing for the team as a whole. Jackonsivlle hosted their first playoff game since 2000 against the Bills and won the game in a thrilling 10-3 victory “It was something special! The city and the organization deserve it. This weekend they will face the Steelers and Mickens is excited to be playing in the game.
However football is just one passion, but helping others is something that Mickens enjoys to do. “Why not give back to others? I have been very blessed and I want to encourage others. Encouragement is how we build a great foundation within each other. Mickens held a holiday benefit for the Jacksonville Children’s Commission during the holidays this past year and put a lot of smiles on these young children’s faces.
Mickens is a class act and could have given up, but he switched up his cards that life gave him and became the man that we see today. People can change their outcome and situation when they start to realize their purpose in life.
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