It’s one thing to make it to the NFL; it’s another to make a living there. Jeremiah Attaochu had to battle back from a dark place following an injury to find a role with the 49ers — and his place in the world. “That’s my purpose: to be an instrument for God,” he shares. What’s yours?
In 2013, Jeremiah was a second-round draft pick out of Georgia Tech.
Jeremiah Attaochu: So if it’s a fight to get to your fourth year in the league. It’s a lot of tears, a lot of pain, a lot of anger.
In 2018, Jeremiah entered free agency after a series of injuries.
Jeremiah: There’s a lot of thoughts, negative thoughts that can creep into your head.
Man on phone: In terms of getting on the field, getting your career back on path. If all things were equal, the money, and you felt like the opportunity was the same at the Jets and the Niners, what do you think you would choose to do?
I broke my foot that year, but you know what? Even in the midst of my struggle, God always comes out. Like God is like, “Hey, Bro.” When they announced my Walter Payton Man of the Year thing during the game, I was in a bed in San Diego on pain meds, my leg up in the air. And I was crying, bro. I was just like, “Man.”
Jeremiah: And I was grieved. My spirit was grieved, man. It got dark, man, because I was … you know, because I was going through stuff, man. I was going through some sh*t, man.
Jeremiah: It’s almost like you feel like you’re banging your head against the wall, like no results.
Friend: So what’d you do to get out of that?
Friend: What do you feel like your purpose is in one sentence?
Jeremiah: Oohf, man. I think my purpose is to establish my place in God’s Kingdom, and it’s just to be an instrument. That’s my purpose, is to be an instrument for God in this land.
You know, my experiences are unique. I’ve experienced a third-world country, growing up in a third-world country. I’ve experienced near-death malaria, almost dying as a child. I’ve experienced those things. And then I experienced God taking me from that to Washington, DC, to being in the hood, to living in the attic of a church and being a charity case. You know, to making it to college, to the NFL, to wealth, to prosperity.
My perspective is this way because of my life, the way my life has been. And I can walk into a room and I can treat everybody the same, because I’ve been in most people’s shoes.
Interviewer: What’s it like putting on new colors for the first time and the new logo?
Jeremiah: It’s amazing. Yeah, it feels amazing. Yeah, it’s exciting to put on some new colors. I love powder blue, but this is …I can get used to this.
Interviewer: What do you want to prove to yourself?
Jeremiah: I want to prove to myself that I am who I am and I know who I am.