David Rivers' football odyssey continues north of the border with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League.
The former Lakeside High School quarterback has had an interesting journey since his days as a Panther. He earned a degree from the University of Virginia, where he also played football. His gridiron highlight there was leading the Cavaliers to a huge win over Georgia Tech as a junior.
He transferred to Western Carolina for his senior season. The move was somewhat of a surprise, but it turned out to be a life-altering decision.
He had a record-breaking senior campaign for the Catamounts, completing 208 of 350 passes for 2,878 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Those stats and his 6-3, 220-pound frame began turning the heads of some NFL scouts.
As draft day approached, Rivers was considered to be one of the top ten quarterbacks in the draft and a lock to be selected.
However, as the rounds flew by, the phone didn't ring.
A stunned Rivers had to forget about the disappointment of draft day and turn his attention to trying to make an NFL team as a free agent. That team would be the offensive juggernaut, St. Louis Rams.
Although the Rams spoke very highly of Rivers' ability, they really had no room for a quarterback with superstar Kurt Warner, veteran backup Jamie Martin and second year player Marc Bulger already on the team.
Rivers was released and assumed his options were closed for the 2001 season - until he got a call from the British Columbia Lions, who had only one week left in their camp.
Rivers few in on a Monday in late June, and the following Wednesday he played very well in the team's final exhibition game to earn a roster spot with the defending Grey Cup Champions, in a league that has helped jump-start the careers of such quarterbacks as Warren Moon and Doug Flutie.
Playing time has been limited for Rivers. He is playing behind 38-year-old CFL legend Damon Allen, the younger brother of NFL Hall of famer Marcus Allen, but the experience Rivers is gaining is priceless.
And who knows, it might pave his way into the NFL one day. The B.C. coaching staff seems to be very high on his ability.
So, while he is a long way from home, Rivers is doing what we all should do: he's chasing his dream. From Charlottesville to Cullowhee, N.C., to dinner at Kurt Warner's house, his life has been a whirlwind to this point.
Let's all hope it continues.
Ashley Brown's radio program can be heard from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday on News-Talk Sports 1630 AM. His e-mail address is AB@WRDWAM.com.
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