Four months ago, Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi was sleeping outside because he couldn't afford a hotel room. Last night, he returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown in an NFL preseason game.
- Watch: Click this link, watch his teammates mob him, and then come back here to read his story. I’ll wait.
The backdrop: In 2016, Sheehy-Guiseppi was a junior college All-American kick returner for Phoenix College. But after failing to land a Division I offer that offseason, he went two years without playing organized football.
- Eager to play professionally, Sheehy-Guiseppi tried walking on to an NFL team. No luck. He tried making an AFL team. No luck. He drove to Las Vegas for a CFL tryout and paid $100 to participate. No luck.
The breakthrough: All looked lost until a friend he had met in a flag football league told Sheehy-Guiseppi about an NFL workout in Miami.
- Despite not having an invite, Sheehy-Guiseppe showed up and convinced the guy with the clipboard that he knew Browns' VP of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith, who was there as a scout (he did not).
- Sheehy-Guiseppi crushed the workout, and his 4.38 40-yard dash — which would have ranked sixth among WRs at the NFL combine — earned him an invite to try out for the Browns in Cleveland.
One problem: He was stuck in Miami with no money and a week until the tryout. So he improvised, sleeping either outside or at a 24-hour fitness center and eating food at strangers' cookouts.
- When he arrived in Cleveland, Sheehy-Guiseppi impressed once again and was officially signed by the team on April 5. Four months later, he's on top of the world.
The bottom line: If this isn't a future Disney movie, I don't know what is. Just an incredible story of perseverance, and a moment last night that genuinely made everyone who witnessed it happier — even if only for a moment. Damon!!!