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[Photo: Tara Lanning/Gallaudet University Athletics]
If you have never heard of Adham Talaat, you should check out and learn more about him as a football player. The story about Talaat, a deaf football player who is pursuing a dream of becoming a National Football League (NFL) player, is a good-feel story.
Talaat, a 6-6 and 280 pound defensive end from Gallaudet University (the world’s liberal arts college primarily for deaf and hard of hearing students), a Division III school in Washington DC, has the talent (with his size and strength) to break down the offensive linemen and tackle the opposing players, which attracted the NFL scouts.
In spite of the fact that Talaat was frequently doubled and triple-teamed in each single game, he recorded 46 tackles and 5 sacks last season. He has previously worked out for the NFL scouts from Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. Additionally, 24 NFL scouts had stopped by to visit Talaat so they could evaluate him, and obtain to know and learn more about him personally and professionally.
From CBS Sports:
“The thing the scouts really like about him is he’s so long,” Gallaudet head coach Chuck Goldstein told Bruce Feldman, a senior college football columnist for the CBS Sports. “He is a technician and he’s playing with better pad-level this year and he has a motor that doesn’t stop.”
Talaat was offered a scholarship to attend University of Massachusetts, but when the coach (Don Brown who recruited Talaat), departed the school for another coaching job at University of Maryland, Talaat realized that UMass was not a great fit for him. He eventually dropped out of the school and transferred to community college at Northern Virginia Community College.
Talaat was surely frustrated and disappointed, yet he didn’t give up.
While Talaat was still out of the Division I school, coach Goldstein recruited him and asked if he would be interested to play for Gallaudet football team. Football got him back. Since he enrolled in Gallaudet, he becomes a successful student-athlete. He received two-time academic All-America award, and helped Gallaudet advance to the Division III NCAA Tournament for the first time in school’s history.
The 2014 NFL Draft is coming soon. All Talaat has to do is to be prepared for an enormous challenge. Last week, he was asked by Kristian Dyer, a writer of the Yahoo Sports, about the communication and hearing issues on the field. He didn’t think communication or hearing would be issues on the field. He didn’t need any sounds to create pressure on him, which would be an advantage for him.
From Yahoo Sports:
“I think it will be an advantage. Crowd noise, trash talk won’t affect me,” Talaat told Dyer. “At Gallaudet, I didn’t wear hearing aid. Our specialty is non-verbal communication. We have great peripheral vision; we pick up little, sublet movement. I am skilled at lip reading, even if I turn my hearing aid off, I can understand what you’re saying. I’ve been doing this whole my life. I don’t think there will be any communication issues on the field.
Talaat may be deaf, but it doesn’t stop him from playing the game he loves, which is football. He has the desire to let the world know that, despite his hearing loss, he is ready to play football at a professional level. He wants the NFL experts to judge primarily on his football abilities, not his hearing abilities.
Derrick Coleman, a fullback of the Seattle Seahawks, who is legally deaf, is a perfect example of how he strives to overcome the obstacles successfully. He became the first deaf NFL player to ever win the 2014 Super Bowl. If Coleman can do it, Talaat can do it the same thing in the professional ranks.
Few months ago, Talaat participated in the workout with the NFL prospects at the TEST Parisi Football Academy in Central New Jersey, preparing for the 2014 NFL Draft. He was not invited to attend the NFL scouting combine, but he is preparing to impress the scouts at a private workout.
If Talaat doesn’t get drafted by an NFL team this May, he will become a free agent and can sign a deal with whichever team he chooses.
If Talaat makes an NFL team, he will become the first Gallaudet football player to ever make it in the NFL. He is continually working hard to keep his NFL dream alive. His feel-good story will continue to inspire the deaf athletes who are pursuing the dream of becoming professional football players in the future.