Will Pericak, measuring in at 6' 4" and 280 pounds has landed himself a shot to play in the NFL. Diagnosed at age 15 with type 1 diabetes, he received the largest sign on bonus of any undrafted rookie May 3, 2013.
A recent news article on Baltimoreravens.com quotes Pericak: “Diabetes shouldn’t hold you back from your dreams. You can do anything. Look at me, I’m getting a chance to play in the NFL.”
Pericak started all 49 games in his college career at Colorado University, setting both school and defensive records.
Pericak was quite familiar with type 1 diabetes prior to his diagnosis; his older brother Thomas was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a young child. Thomas, also an athlete, managed his diabetes while playing basketball throughout high school.
Perichek touts the benefits of exercise in disease management. He speaks about improved insulin sensitivity obtained through physical activity and how diabetes promotes better food choices. He goes on to credit type 1 diabetes — "it probably helps you be a better football player."
This former Colorado defensive tackle may just be on the final roster come September. His mental fortitude and life experiences may sharpen the edge he needs to make the final cut.