I was counted out in high school, so I invested in myself. I worked to catch up to the competition, then to pull away from them, then to become the best. As a junior at Davis high, my coach handed me the No.1. I didn’t want it, but he told me I had earned it. He told me he wanted me to wear it. I didn’t love the idea, but I respected coach and went along with it. I’m glad I did. It was in my time in that number that I earned the opportunity to play ball at the next level.
When I got to EWU, I had a decision to make. I chose to go with No.10, as a reminder to myself of the hard work in HS that opened up that door for me. During my collegiate career, those two digits became part of me. Through battles on our red turf, while representing myself, my wife, Anna Kupp, my family, and school, 10 became a part of my story and a symbol of faith, hard work and perseverance leading to success.
In 2017 I had the privilege of being drafted by the Los Angeles Rams. The No.10 was not available, but I was only focused on earning my place in the league, so I happily accepted the No.18. I have worn that number with pride for the past three years. In that time, I battled through tough trials and achieved high victories, and I’ve had the sweetest joy of seeing my son wear an 18 with the word DADDY on the back.
You all have gotten to know me as 18, and that means a lot to me. Now, though, it’s time for me to return home, for me to embrace the next stage of my career in 10, my true number.
To Roman Gabriel, THE Rams 18, and your family: I have so much respect for what you gave this game and the Rams organization. I hope I’ve done your number well.
God Bless and Go Rams!