For many, it might seem like Dion Jordan's rise to the third overall pick of the 2013 NFL draft was destiny. After all, he is an uber-athletic, 6-foot-6 defensive end who blew scouts away at the combine.
But Jordan will be the first to say that his presence on stage in New York was anything but certain.
The day after a game during his senior year of high school, Jordan was at a friend's house when one of the cars at the house ran out of gas. Jordan's friends tried to siphon gas from another car using a vacuum. They took a break and left the vacuum on, which Jordan thought was a bad idea.
When Jordan turned the vacuum off, it let off a spark which turned into a flash fire and engulfed Jordan's arms and legs. He remembers seeing his skin disintegrating on his arms.
Jordan was airlifted to a hospital, where it was determined that he had suffered second- and third-degree burns on 40 percent of his body. Jordan, who had never been to a hospital before, was unsure of what was going to happen to him. For the next three weeks Jordan went through skin grafts and treatment to monitor infection.
Luckily for Jordan, the injury did not rob him of his burgeoning athleticism. In fact, the burns gave Jordan new perspective on his life and his sport.
"I started thinking how fortunate I was," he told the The Arizona Republic two years ago. "I felt blessed. Even after everything that happened, I thought, 'I'm really lucky.'"
Jordan signed with Oregon a few months after his injury, and the rest is history.
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