Rashad Jennings on his road to the NFL

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Former New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings joins Colin Cowherd to discuss NFL. Jennings also reflects on his tough road to the NFL.

- Your road to football is kind of a fascinating road. Give me-- first of all, tell me about why your road, you believe, was different.

RASHAD JENNINGS: For so many reasons, my road to the NFL has been vastly different. You know, I tell people a lot, I was a short, overweight, chubby kid. Glasses, asthma. I had a 0.6 GPA at one point in time.

COLIN COWHERD: You had asthma?

RASHAD JENNINGS: Yeah. Struggled. Struggled big time with asthma. I was hospitalized.

COLIN COWHERD: Cause your dad was a smoker.

RASHAD JENNINGS: Yes. My dad smoked heavily. We didn't have the best relationship. And one time I was hospitalized. 13 years old, I'm in a hospital. I'm blowing through a peak flow, and it goes a centimeter. And I'm fighting for my life, much less what I would accomplish in life. The doctors told my dad, said-- "Sir, you can't smoke around your son anymore."

We got out of the hospital. My mom would call certain restaurants, checking the ventilation before we went. I was that bad off. When I got back home, my dad started smoking outside, right? A week goes by, he starts trickling back in the house with smoking. I'm in my room, smoke seems through the vents. I smell it, I start choking up. Put a pillow over my face, I go upstairs and knock on my dad's door. He's in the corner, drinking and smoking like he always does. I say, "Dad, can you stop drinking and smoking and be there for me?"

He took a puff of his smoke, sip of his drink. He looked at me, he said, "Rashad? What you want to do when you get older?" Now mind you, this is the first time he ever asked me that. Me and him don't have the best relationship. So part of me is excited I get to say it. But I can see he's just saying it because he doesn't care. I take my chance, and I say, "Dad, I want to play running back in the NFL." Overweight kid, glasses-- this is just a child's dream. He took a puff of his smoke, sip of his drink, and he said, "Rashad, you think you'd be able to make it to the NFL without smoking and drinking yourself?" And with tears in my eyes, I looked at him and I said, "Just to prove you wrong, I'm never going to do it."

And I'm 33, never drink alcohol a day in my life. I've never smoked a day in my life. Literally, just to prove him wrong. And what's special about it, in doing that-- he watched his little knucklehead kid prove him wrong. He quit smoking and drinking himself, and we both feel like we saved each other's life in that one little instance.