JJ Arcega-Whiteside is all of the things your favorite Eagles player should be; tough, strong, and an inspiration. JJ is also the first Hispanic player to make it to the NFL. He’s already become a fan favorite in Philadelphia. JJ has shown that sports don’t have to be just about winning but can also be about inspiring people. Here are some ways you can inspire others with your own story.
Who is JJ Arcega-Whiteside?
JJ Arcega-Whiteside is an Eagles’ Wide Receiver. He was the 123rd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and is currently an undrafted rookie. He played college ball at the University of Southern California, and has also been on the practice squads of the New York Jets and Denver Broncos.
What is he best known for?
JJ Arcega-Whiteside has been given a nickname by his teammates and coaches; ‘Hollywood’ for his big personality and unique flair. JJ Arcega-Whiteside stands 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighs in at 225 pounds, and is a left-handed pitcher in the Rockies’ farm system.
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JJ Arcega-Whiteside actually met his now-wife, Kennedy Whiteside, while he was in high school. She was one of his best friends and they became a couple in junior year of high school. Their first date was at a roller skating rink.
How did he get to the NFL?
JJ Arcega-Whiteside played football from a young age, eventually getting signed by the University of San Diego. While in college he led the team in receiving yards every year, and was chosen to play in the Senior Bowl. He also set school records for single-game receptions, most in a single game, longest touchdown, and most career touchdowns.
NFL Draft Projection
If the Eagles decide to keep him on the practice squad, he will be the first Hispanic player to play in the NFL. Since he doesn’t have any experience in the NFL, he might still need a little more time in the reserves, but he is definitely an inspiration to all NFL fans everywhere, including Latinos.
Want to know more about JJ and his story? Read the full story from NBC News Latino.
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What does it mean to be a role model in athletics?
Many people look up to athletes and celebrities because they want to become them or look like them. JJ Arcega-Whiteside made history as a rookie by scoring a touchdown in his NFL debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On November 4, 2017, JJ tied Tony Gonzalez for the most touchdowns scored by a rookie tight end. JJ took to Twitter and thanked his fans. He wrote: “Huge thank you to everybody for the support. You guys are awesome!” You can follow him on Twitter @jjarcega.
What motivates you?
JJ Arcega-Whiteside told NFL.com: “I’m an inspiration to a lot of people because they don’t see it [outdoors]. I feel like I could be a good role model for people to look up to and give them inspiration.” JJ is a first generation American.
J.J.’s story inspires people of all backgrounds
At only 25 years old, JJ has had a great athletic career. He is known as the ‘Hornet’ and is a former basketball and football player. He was discovered by Washington State’s coach, Mike Leach, who recruited him to play basketball. JJ had no intention of playing football and spent his freshman year getting his grades up. One day, he was taking the train to class and the public transportation conductor asked him if he played football. JJ said yes, so the conductor asked him if he could be a receiver. When he told JJ that he was going to make it to the NFL, JJ responded by saying he would do everything he could to get to the NFL.
After missing one or two opportunities, JJ finally decided to take the advice from his coach. He switched to football and his football career started to take off.
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No one is an island. Everyone can and should be an inspiration to someone. Most importantly, it is up to you to be inspired. We all need a bit of inspiration. In this way, you’re at your very best in every area of your life. You can be proud of the small moments, the little victories, the small moments that make your life better.
Have any inspirational stories or stories of your own that inspire you? Share them in the comments below and help others feel inspired today.