Rashied’s Path was shaped by Athletics
Ironically, Rashied went through high school with few dreams about becoming a professional football player. His athletic pursuits were limited to hanging out with athletes, playing lunch-time basketball and pick-up games at the park. After graduation, he thought little about his future until intervention came when his cousin practically dragged him out of the house to enroll in West Los Angeles Junior College. Rashied moved through the registration process automatically, his course charted by something bigger than himself.
In junior college Rashied became a diligent student and athlete. He ran track and played football. A wide receiver coach recognized his talent and began mentoring him, teaching him the skills necessary for success playing offense. Rashied’s work ethic, coupled with the coach’s guidance got him into San Jose State University, where as a junior, he led the team as a wide receiver with a record setting average of 19.6 yards per catch.
During his senior year, Rashied’s path was further influenced by a coach who put him on defense in a new position. Rashied adapted to the change and learned to play cornerback. His ability to play both defense and offense got the attention of the Arena Football League. With a semester of coursework unfinished, he left college and signed with the San Jose SaberCats.
Life in the Arena League was exciting and challenging. During the football season Rashied played wide receiver and cornerback, during the off season he worked at Best Buy and continued working toward the completion of his college degree. His last year in the Arena League became his most productive. He scored 44 touchdowns as a return specialist and caught 100 passes for 1,420 yards and 30 touchdowns as a wide receiver. The Chicago Bears noticed and called him in for a tryout.
Rashied didn’t come to Chicago with media focus reserved for those players that progress through the NFL draft. He came up from the gritty, meat and potatoes Arena League. No press followed. He simply tried out and made the team. In 2005 he signed a contract with the Bears and quit his job at Best Buy. In 2006 he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from San Jose State University.