Coming into his senior year on the USC football team, linebacker Devon Kennard was ready to set himself up for a career in the National Football League. Then, while lifting weights, he tore a pectoral muscle, a season-ending injury.
“It was devastating,” he recalled. “A lot of people wrote off my NFL career after that pec injury — and I definitely had my own doubts. To overcome those dark times, my mindset was: Control what I can control, glorify God and be relentless in the way that I pursue my dreams every day.”
Driven by the work ethic he’d learned from his father — 11-year NFL pro Derek Kennard — Kennard redshirted his senior year to recover from his injury and complete his bachelor’s degree in communication in 2012.
“That year I was injured really made it clear that I needed to take everything I was doing off the field as serious as I took everything on the field,” he said. “I knew I wanted to be successful, whether I had a 10-year career in the NFL, or I didn’t make it to the NFL at all.”