Ryan Leaf talks about completely transforming his life and how he got to where he is right now

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Ryan Leaf talks about completely transforming his life and how he got to where he is right now

Blog > The Dan Dakich Show > Ryan Leaf talks about completely transforming his life and how he got to where he is right now

Ryan Leaf talks about completely transforming his life and how he got to where he is right now

Cindy Ord | Getty Images for Leigh Steinberg


Former NFL quarterback and recently hired by ESPN, Ryan Leaf joins Dan Dakich to discuss how he got to this point in his life. Ryan talks about how he transformed his life and completely turned it around and made it positive. After being in the NFL and then going to prison on theft and drug charges, and overcoming drug addiction, he has a new way of life these days. He discusses what made him want to change his life, coming out of prison, speaking and teaching college football players, and more.

On where he learned to change:

"While in prison. I wasn't changing in prison. In fact, I was getting angrier and more self loathing and my roommate, God bless him. He was an Iraqui-Afghan war veteran and I watched him try to better himself everyday and one day he simply confronted me on who I was and how I was behaving and what I was going to do when I got out. He said, 'you know Ryan you are going to get out at some point.' He told me I was a value to not only the men in there, but when I got out. He suggested that we go down to the prison library and teach prisoners who didn't know how to read, how to read. Not that just going down there once changed everything. I had to be consisted. I had to show up everyday and keep doing it and being a service on a daily basis and that is really what shifted my perspective. There was a lot of hard work that went into it over the last five years and there were a lot of individuals who responsible for giving me opportunities but that definitely was a guiding force to that." 

On the influence he has on college football players now:

"I get a great opportunity to speak to a lot of college football programs over the year and I tell them first and foremost that just because you are a great football player, it doesn't make you a great person. I think that is startling to a lot of those guys because they have the assumption that they are a great person because they are really good at something. That is not the truth, you have to build that. Just because you are the big man on campus doesn't mean you get to cut in the line at the movie theater or things like that. That pedestal that we sit on could be over in a hurry and if you can build the foundation of being a good person, the rest of it can follow suit. It is important to talk to them about choices, it is important to talk to them about entitlement and understanding that you are no more important or less important than any other individual because you are very good at something, in particular, football."

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