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Cardinals draft pick has overcome family death and poverty to make it to the NFL

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John Brown has been told throughout his life all the reasons he wouldn't make it to the NFL and has now just signed his first professional contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

As a kid he was told he was too slow or too small, he was cut from his college team and had to fight battles with his poor circumstances and lazy approach to academia. 

His path to the NFL included family tragedy as well, John celebrated the 4th of July with his brother in a nightclub in Miami, his brother James Walker was attacked and shot three times, James battled for nine months before passing away at the tender age of 22.

Brown admits to this day that seeing his brother struggle in a hospital bed and cling to life gave him a new outlook on his future, Brown said: "It taught me a lesson that no matter how hard things get, you can't give up."

Another Cardinals rookie alongside Brown is Ed Stinson, both the young men grew up in Homestead, a very poor district in Florida. Stinson recalls playing street ball with Brown where the future-receiver was always picked last.

Stinson explained whilst laughing: "When he was younger, he was the slowest kid on the block, I guess he got tired of people telling him he's too small and stuff like that. He busted his behind to get where he's at."

Brown was cut from Coffeyville's football roster only two months after the death of his brother, not to be deterred from his dream, Brown continued to train hard and work on his athletic talent which enabled him to become a speedster that would go on to record a 4.34 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine.

Pittsburgh State took a chance on the wide receiver in 2011 and in his first touch for the University football team, Brown gathered a punt and returned it 84 yards to the house for a touchdown.

Continuing to overcome adversity, being told he was too small for the pro's, Brown wowed the scouts at the combine with his electrifying speed and his dream come true at the NFL draft when the Arizona Cardinals used a 3rd round selection to welcome Brown to the organisation.

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