BOWIE, Md. - When the 2015 NFL Super Bowl kicks off, the Bowie State University football program coaching staff, current and former players will have more than just a casual interest as one of their own, suits up to represent one of the teams.
Douglas McNeil, III, (#16), wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks, will get his first experience as a player on the NFL's biggest stage. He becomes the 2nd player in Bulldog history (Isaac Redman, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers, (Super Bowl XLV - 2010) to be a part of a Super Bowl roster.
When asked how it feels to be going to the Super Bowl, McNeil said, "After the championship win over the Packers, I realized I would be going to the Super Bowl and it was truly a surreal moment. It's the one night the world stops to watch two teams compete for the prized Lombardi Trophy. It's moments like this, my inner child smiles from ear to ear."
Getting to this point hasn't been easy. With stops in the Arena League (Portland Thunder) then the Denver Broncos, McNeil was asked what Bowie State football memories helped propel him forward? "Hard work and dedication behind the scenes people don't see. The late nights in the weight room, the field work, the grind that I put in with my brothers. I reflect on those moments the most because they prepared me for the position I'm in today", said McNeill.
McNeil added that Head Coach Pete Carroll does a great job of preparing the team week to week and making sure they are conscious of the fact that the routine doesn't change. Veteran teammate Ricardo Lockette (Fort Valley State) has shown McNeill the ropes as far as being a professional football player from how to approach practice and route concepts to just giving words of encouragement to the young receiver.
When asked what advice he would give any upcoming Bulldogs with pro aspirations, McNeil said, "Learn how to separate yourself … Everybody will not have the same drive, dermas, goals and work ethic as you do. Many people say they want it, but they really don't and only kind of want it. The thought of it sounds good to them. For those who really mean it, diligently and consistently for what you want … Good things come to those who work and FINAO (Failure Is Not an Option)".
To stay connected, McNeill plans to wear a Bowie State tee shirt under his Super Bowl uniform.