A Little Giant

People have been underestimating Darren Sproles his entire life. At 5'6" he is the shortest player currently in the NFL. People have doubted his ability since he was a kid, but he's worked hard and dedicated himself to the game he loves. In college that hard work seemed to have paid off, as Darren became an All-American running back at Kansas State University and a Heisman Trophy finalist. Despite his accomplishments, NFL teams were not sure if he was big enough to play professionally.

The San Diego Chargers took a chance on Darren and drafted him in the 4th round of the 2005 draft. After a solid rookie season, he missed the entire next year with a broken ankle. Some wondered if he'd be able to recover, but Darren was determined to battle back. He spent months working to regain his power and speed, and his teammates honored him with their Courage Award for perseverance and outstanding play upon his return.

Darren has had to overcome obstacles off the field as well. Born with a speech impediment, it has been difficult for him to speak in public. He has worked hard to become more confident about giving TV interviews. After a standout 2008 season, where he became just the ninth player in NFL history to return both a punt and kickoff for a touchdown in a single game, the reporters are definitely interested in what he has to say.

Being labeled too small or too short has never bothered Darren. He finds joy in proving the skeptics wrong. And his giant-sized success has shown that with hard work no dream is too big.

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