RELATED LINKS:-- Doctson Has Overcome Adversity His Whole Life-- Players React To First Round Draft Pick
Josh Doctson, the Redskins' 2016 first round draft pick, broke his collar bone in a football scrimmage when he was 16 years old. His mother, Tracy Syler-Jones, wouldn't let her son play football again, not if she had any say in the matter.
But, as chronicled in a detailed Sports Illustrated feature, Doctson argued back, persuading his mother to change her mind, that he would eventually heal and that he wouldn't quit the game. Without wanting her son to look back with regret based on her decision, she decided to let him play again.
With the 22nd pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins selected wide receiver Josh Doctson of TCU. Take a look at his collegiate career in photos.
As a kid, Doctson was a basketball player and never thought about football until around high school, when he started at Mansfield- Legacy, near where his family had settled.
"I first saw him in the eighth grade at a track meet," Legacy football coach Chris Melson said of Doctson via the Star-Telegram. "He was high jumping and ran the [4x400-meter relay]. I said, 'Boy, that's a good, young athlete right there.' He was a smooth athlete. He was skinny, but so smooth."
The fact that Docston played basketball meant that few colleges looked at him – instead they recruited Tevin Mitchel, ironically the Redskins' sixth-round draft choice last season – and eventually ended up going to Wyoming for a year. He caught 35 passes and scored five touchdowns, including one against his eventual alma mater in the Horned Frogs.
Then he received difficult news. His paternal grandfather was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, forcing Doctson to return home to Texas to be close to him.
"I think I lived life thinking it was going to last forever," Doctson said. "He got sick, and it just got worse. That really hit me. It really made me understand, 'Hey, man, we've got to get things rolling. Time is of the essence. What are you doing day by day to get better?' It just really had me at a standstill and put everything in slow motion. That was a huge impact on my life."
Doctson was ready to sign up for community college. He had his books bought and had a side job lined up at a fast food restaurant when he received a call from TCU wide receivers coach Rusty Burns. He eventually landed on the scout team, shortly grabbing the attention of head coach Gary Patterson and joining the starting rotation the next year.
The wide receiver ended his three-year career with the Horned Frogs with 179 catches for 2,784 yards and 29 touchdowns, accounting for two of the three 1,000-yards receiving seasons in the school's history.
As if he hadn't gone through enough, Doctson injured his left wrist in November. It's not an issue now, just another speed bump in his progression. It's something he's used to.
"That was my first serious injury," Doctson said. "I didn't want to stop playing football. I was a senior, and that could have been my last time playing football. I just took initiative to make sure I got back from that wrist and made sure the doubts and everything weren't overshadowing my success...This truly is a blessing."
Just look at the video above and you'll see it.