There was never a clear path for Valdez Showers.
The Redskins' newly signed undrafted free agent, standing at 6-foot, 193 pounds, took a while to figure out he'd be listed as a wide receiver competing for a spot on an NFL roster.
After graduating high school in the Detroit, Mich., area](http://www.freep.com/story/sports/college/university-michigan/wolverines/2015/12/19/florida-valdez-showers/77642314/), Showers arrived at the University of Florida as a cornerback. He was converted to safety after redshirting his freshman year andplayed on the scout team, getting used to special teams in his first year on the field.
Before the next year, he flipped to offense – he ran for 2,024 yards and 29 touchdowns as a senior – and split time at running back and wide receiver, eventually turning some heads with his speed.
In 2013 he caught a career high 18 passes for 102 yards and collected six more passes in his senior year for 64 yards while also helping on a couple of kick returns, too.
Showers considered leaving the Gators twice during his tenure there. He had committed to Florida when Urban Meyer was the head coach in 2010, but six months later, before his official visit to the school, Meyer resigned for health reasons and Will Muschamp took over.
"I was playing defensive back at the time, and coach Muschamp was a great coach and put a lot of defensive backs in the NFL," Showers said. "His system was great, so I decided to give it a try."
He faced another challenge before his senior year, when Jim McElwain replaced Muschamp as head coach. Showers considered transferring for his last year of school, but his mother stressed academics. Showers is receiving his master's degree in management, and finished out his last year in Gainsville, Fla.
"That was a huge move,'' his mother, Conya, told FloridaGators.com."I looked at the graduation rates among the schools, and UF had one of the highest graduation rates for athletes. That was something I was OK with."
For all the changes Showers has had to make, he's remained impressively even in his demeanor. He's met new people, overcome struggles and now has potentially become a versatile asset that the Redskins will monitor at the end of this week during rookie mini-camps.
"Being positive is something I've learned will help a lot," Showers said. "I actually felt accustomed to that over the last year and a half, being positive, having a positive mind-set and knowing things will work out. That's kind of what I do every day, and it helped me. You know, once you think positive, positive things start to happen around you."
And the positives might come quickly, since he'll be joining some former teammates in Rob Kelley, Mack Brown, Jordan Reed and Quinton Dunbar, all former Gators.