The Chicago Bears‘ second installment of “Meet The Rookies” highlights fourth-round running back Khalil Herbert. Herbert was selected with the 217th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Herbert was a great player in college, but his journey wasn’t as easy as some other NFL Draft picks.
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Khalil Herbert never had it easy rising through the ranks to become a NFL Draft pick. His story is one of staying humble, and always having to put in the work rather than just rely on his talent. Herbert’s story begins with an energetic childhood, before an incredible story landed him at the University of Kansas.
Stay Humble, Work Hard
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out for Herbert in Kansas, and he transferred to Virginia Tech where he budded into the NFL Draft prospect the Bears selected in the fourth round. Herbert speaks heavily on his past, discussing everything from skipping vacation to practice with his winless team, to his journey through college to get to where he is now.
When tragedy strikes, its easy to feel pain and fall off course. For Herbert, he reached that crossroad in 2018.
Stoneman Douglas is a well recognized high school in South Florida. On February 14, 2018, Herbert was at Kansas University, entering the training room when he learned terrible news. There was a shooting at his former high school and his former coach, Aaron Feis, died. Heroically, the coach/school security guard shielded students from the gunman, losing his life that fateful day.
Herbert reflects on Coach Feis, and how he pushed him to become a better player. “He helped me instill that belief in myself”, said Herbert of his former coach. Both Herbert and his father added that Feis held Khalil to a high standard, further pushing him to the success he’s experienced in his life.
Through tragedy, there is a happy ending. Herbert’s spotlight concludes with a letter. The letter is one that Herbert wrote to himself in 2016 while in high school. He was tasked with writing a “letter to myself”, telling Khalil where he would be in five years. It’s safe to say Khalil is accomplishing what he set out to do in 2016, noting he would be in the NFL in five years.
Five years later, Khalil Herbert prepares for his first NFL training camp as a member of the Chicago Bears.
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