Meet the only NFL rookie with a disability

Joel Hernandez is the youngest player in the NFL and the only rookie player with a disability on the active roster. That distinction, which he has not yet earned, makes him “the only Hispanic…

Meet the only NFL rookie with a disability

Joel Hernandez is the youngest player in the NFL and the only rookie player with a disability on the active roster. That distinction, which he has not yet earned, makes him “the only Hispanic quarterback in the NFL,” according to USA Today. So it is perhaps no surprise that his underdog story has become the subject of some viral buzz this week.

“I’m going to help out the guys,” he told USA Today. “I’m like a coach. I tell them the plays.”

Prior to signing with the Titans as an undrafted free agent in April, Hernandez began his football career at Calverton Academy — a junior varsity team in Calverton, Long Island — before moving on to Long Beach Junior All-American.

The first time Hernandez actually played with a group of other players from his high school was in 2016, when he took a one-on-one scout team snap against an offensive lineman. He did just fine.

He was also presented with the Alabama State Achievement Award from a New York City charity, and said he is working to try to clear up any confusion his ethnicity might have caused people around him.

“People would say that because I have a dark complexion I couldn’t play football, but that’s all irrelevant. I’m very tall, I’m very lean. I think the refs look at it that way, so they’ll make sure that I have good vision. I believe it will just get taken care of,” he said.

Hernandez’s prowess on the field has also attracted attention from celebrities and athletes alike. Halle Berry watched him play and tweeted a message to him after the game.

I love you @Joel15Hernandez! You’re the best player I’ve ever seen! #Legend #12 — Halle Berry (@halleberry) October 8, 2017

For one of Hernandez’s more recent highlights, check out the high-speed footage below.

Read the full story at USA Today.

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