Even though many of you might not recognize him, Phillip Lindsay is a standout athlete with an incredible story. In fact, the reason why he blends in so well in the NFL is because he plays and acts like a normal running back, even when his story is quite the opposite of one.
Phillip grew up in the Denver area and played football for South High School. As a running back, he chased the rushing record that his father set in 1979 for the Denver Public School District, running for over 4,400 yards his senior season. Sadly, he like many other athletes, ran into hardship. At the end of his senior season, Lindsay tore his ACL! He was already committed to a football scholarship to go and play for the University of Colorado Boulder. Luckily, the coach kept the offer on the table and he took it. He decided to redshirt his freshman year, which was during the 2013 NCAA season (this was a very smart decision on his part, may I add). It meant that he could spend a year in recovery while learning under the CU Football team, without losing one of his four years of NCAA eligibility.
In the 2014 NCAA season, Phillip began to play running back again and was their go-to backup, he also was their kick returner. That was the year where he earned the nickname “The Tasmanian Devil” by his coaches because of his incredible speed and persistence while he played.
The next year, in the 2015 season, Lindsay led the whole team with 140 rushing attempts for 643 rushing yards. That meant that he was averaging 4.7 yards per carry that season. Despite the fact that he was a sophomore, his team voted him as a team captain, which is of high prestige in the NCAA.
His season in 2016 was absolutely phenomenal. For his 244 carries he rushed for 1,252 yards, resulting in an average of 5.1 yards each time he ran with the ball. But even as crazy as this sounds, his senior year got even better.
His senior year was insane. He was ranked ninth in Division 1 College Football in rushing during the regular season with 1,474 yards. Perhaps the most exciting part of this season was his 287 yard game against Arizona. This resulted in him taking the Colorado all-purpose yards record, and getting ranked second in CU’s history for yardage.
The next barricade in his football dream was that he found himself undrafted. This meant that the odds were stacked up against him. Not very many people find themselves making the cut for an NFL team undrafted…now this is where the story gets weird.
The weird part about this story is that at this point no one has talked about what happened next. There is about a five-to-six month gap that no one has mentioned, but it has seemed to have definitely made the difference. Phillip would eventually be picked up by the Denver Broncos on May 1, 2018. He set many records for undrafted rookies including the fact that he was the first undrafted offensive rookie to make it to the pro bowl during their rookie season (Denver Post).
But what about that six month period? What caused him to elevate himself from a collegiate level football player to a member of the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl? One theory that I have is that he worked excruciatingly hard to prove his skills not just to the NFL, but to himself as well. He knew what talent he had, he just had to show that he could rise to a whole new level.
Regardless, we do not know what happened exactly. But if there is one thing we can be sure of, we know that Denver native, Phillip Lindsay, had a dream to play in the NFL his whole life and overcame many obstacles to become a household name in sports.
Another fun fact, just to soak in, is that Lindsay is not the average and stereotypical professional athlete. He actually lives with his parents despite his $500,000 salary! To read more check out this awesome article: