There was a time, not all that long ago, that the New York Jets were a legitimately good football team.
Led by Rex Ryan, an elite defense, and a punishing ground game, the Jets won 28 games between 2009-2011 and twice reached the AFC Championship Game.
A (literally) large part of that success was stud left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson. New York used the fourth overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft to select the 6-foot-6, 310-pound star out of Virginia.
Ferguson repaid their faith, starting 160 games over 10 seasons with the Jets and making the Pro Bowl each year from 2009-2011.
He retired in 2015, and is now seeking out a career in a far different field.
Ferguson recently joined Charles Tillman and Roman Harper for an episode of the NFL Players: Second Acts podcast.
It was there that he revealed that he’s opted to attend nursing school.
D’Brickashaw Ferguson played 10 years in the @nfl for the @nyjets Now he’s going to nursing school. This man is the true essence of the phrase “More then an athlete.” Congrats bro 👏🏿 🚨Check us out🚨 #NFLPlayersSecondActs @Harp41 pic.twitter.com/isu8K1yzXt
— Charles Tillman (@peanuttillman) May 26, 2023
“I just needed that sense of, ‘I think I can do this,'” Ferguson told the hosts.
Ferguson said he wanted to seek out the challenge of trying something new.
“I hadn’t done science since, I don’t know, high school,” Ferguson said. “So my confidence in that space was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’ UVA was hard for me.”
He took his prerequisite courses at community college and just kept moving forward from there.
“I wanted something that I could offer. Like, yes I play football, but I have this,” Ferguson said. “I’m qualified to do this work and I play football. So if both of them help or encourage one another, great. But even without football I can still do my job with excellence, that’s something we learned as athletes.”
It’s a remarkable story and just goes to show how impressive Ferguson is.
— Beachum.eth (@KelvinBeachumJr) May 29, 2023
This is outstanding!! Hope he does well. https://t.co/1OpH7rRurt
— Alecia Leggitt (@AAL53) May 28, 2023
Hated when he had to retire, but look at "Brick" now!! https://t.co/kbMswd2rHf
— Coach G (@CoachGGGG) May 28, 2023
Who knows whether the Jets will be any good in 2023? But at least they’ll have something and someone to cheer for if not.