There’s a lot of great pass-rushing talent in this year’s NFL Draft, including Devonte Fields, who had a long and winding collegiate career.
Fields was Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year at TCU in 2012, this after recording 53 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 10.0 sacks and an interception for the Horned Frogs. At that point, the sky was the limit for the 6-2, 236-pound linebacker.
In the summer of 2014, however, Fields was accused of punching his ex-girlfriend and threatening her with a gun. Charges were eventually dropped, but Fields was suspended and ultimately dismissed from the football program. That led to a one-year stint at Trinity Valley Community College in his native Texas and two years at Louisville. Fields finished his junior year with 63 tackles, 22.0 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks for the Cardinals, but questions about his character loomed large at the Combine.
Fields addressed those questions and concerns to the best of his ability.
“Well, really just be honest, be straightforward with them and just tell them the truth,” Fields said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show, explaining his mindset. “I got asked (about) that a lot.”
Field said he didn’t try to make excuses for the incident but was instead honest and forthright with NFL teams.
“I just answered the questions (and told) them the story in the depth that they wanted it,” he said. “So you go from there and just tell them the truth.”
Fields has approached the game with gratitude and humility in recent years.
“I learned how to really just take advantage of the second chance that I had got,” he said. “Going to junior college had humbled me a lot, and I just really took advantage of my second chance.”