This week on campus, we had a very special guest in New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola! A two time Super Bowl champion, the Texas native and Texas Tech alum reflected on the path that sent him to the biggest stage in football. Son of a high school football coach, the game has always been a part of Danny’s life. At Texas Tech, he was an undersized receiver who proved his worth not only on offense but on special teams excelling as a returner. After going undrafted, Amendola went through several NFL teams and suffering cuts before finding a starting role with the Rams, and then the Patriots.
While Amendola is now known for his playoff success and ability to shake defenders out of the slot, the receiver has faced many obstacles in his path to the NFL. Originally, his fallback plan if he could not earn a scholarship was to enlist in the armed forces. After receiving a Texas Tech scholarship and graduating, he believed he would be drafted, but was not taken in any of the seven rounds. He talked about being cut by various teams, memorably the Eagles, before cracking the depth chart and earning more targets every game. Now in his early 30’s, he still carries the determination he had as a college athlete into his work on and off the field.
Amendola talked at length about the importance of community service and volunteerism, specifically his own charity activities. His Catch a Book initiative creates reading rooms in local middle and high schools filled with books and tech to help students excel and get excited about learning. He says his love for charitable work began in college, and was strengthened by his coach to be dominant on the field and in helping the community.
And of course, there were questions! Here are some of the best answers:
-He strives to be like Brady on the field and Gronk off of it
-Belichick needs some style advice
-He is the ping pong champion of the Pats’ locker room
-He isn’t sure if he’ll be back next season, but he does want to stay!