Receiver Laquon Treadwell left a big mark on the Ole Miss program, but now he is on a journey to have a similar impact in the NFL. Ahead of the draft, which begins April 28, Treadwell penned an open letter to NFL teams as part of a series on The Players Tribune.
In the letter, Treadwell discusses his humble beginnings in the streets of Illinois, how he fell in love with football and how he battled back from a gruesome leg injury during his time at Ole Miss.
“Since we didn’t have TVs, we didn’t know anything about professional football,” Treadwell wrote. “We didn’t get hyped up for Sundays. We didn’t dream of playing in the NFL. We didn’t have idols we pretended to be when we were on the field. All we knew was that we loved playing the game — in the street, at the park, anywhere. It didn’t matter. We were always playing.
“That’s when I fell in love with football.”
The 6-foot-2 receiver goes on to discuss when he developed his strong appetite for winning during his youth football days.
“That season, at 10 years old, I got my first taste of what real football was like. But I also got my first taste of what it felt like to win. My team went undefeated and we won the Park District Super Bowl.
“I had already fallen in love with football.
“But that’s when I fell in love with winning.”
Treadwell recalls his sophomore season when he broke his leg in a loss against Auburn, ending the team’s national-title aspirations at the goal line.
“That was the only time I hung my head over my injury. We had lost the game, and I had a broken leg and a dislocated ankle. Our title hopes were dashed, and my season was over.
“I could never explain the amount of work it took to get back for the start of the 2015 season. But what I can say is that it taught me patience and built my character.
“As a person, I took a huge leap. And as a football player, I came back better than ever.”
Treadwell rebounded to produce 11 touchdowns and 1,153 receiving yards in 13 games last season. Most major media outlets project the 6-foot-2 receiver as a first round pick. Regardless of where he’s taken, Treadwell vows to make that team proud.
“I have played against the best in the college game, and thrived,” Treadwell concludes. “Now I am ready to do it at the professional level.
“And if you draft me, I’ll spend every minute of every day making sure you don’t regret it.”