Lake Taylor High graduate Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey was hoping to hear his name in the 2023 NFL draft this past April.
But if he didn’t, that was fine with him.
That’s because I had other plans. She had aspirations that he controlled and others that others did not.
After his Texas Longhorns lost to Washington in the Alamo Bowl on December 29, Tucker-Dorsey, who had a season-high 10 tackles with five solo, was invited to the Tropical Bowl, which is one of the senior bowls of the NFL. That event was on January 21.
A day earlier, Tucker-Dorsey, who dabbled in real estate in college, met with Austin native Gary Keller, the world’s largest real estate franchise by number of agents. It has more than 1,100 offices and 191,000 agents.
He decided to start his new career.
“I had a choice. It didn’t have to end (an NFL career), said Tucker-Dorsey, who went undrafted. “I just decided that once you analyze the situation, you always want to start with the end in mind and put yourself in a position where you are in control of your life.”
Tucker-Dorsey is dictating his own life.
He wants to carry that message to other student-athletes.
Last year, he held a soccer camp., but on Friday he will partner with Kevin Holloman to host a career fair for student athletes ages 9-17 at Lake Taylor from noon to 3 pm Holloman is the founder of United Youth Foundation Leaders. All children must register to attend.
“I wanted to provide something that they could go home and think about and really gain something from it and put it to use right now,” he said. “I just want them to understand that there is more out there. I’m not trying to discourage anyone from pursuing their dream and trying to go pro. That’s not what I’m trying to do. What I want them to understand is that there is more for you and there is a way to achieve it. I don’t want them to be limited. That’s the message I’m trying to get across.”
Tucker-Dorsey, 24, understands numbers.
There are over a million players at the high school level. Of those, only 73,712 make it to the NCAA level, representing just 7.3% of the talent pool. At any given time, just over 16,000 are draft-eligible, which is just 1.6% of that pool of college players. And then only 259 players will be selected.
But even if you do get drafted, only 30% will make it to an NFL roster. And those numbers are skewed because most players drafted in the first or second round will make the team. Those selected in the later rounds have a less than 15% chance.
“It no longer made sense given the circumstances he would be in and the position he was in as an undrafted or late-round guy,” he said of an NFL career. “It wasn’t difficult for me because I didn’t want to go through it. In fact, I created other opportunities for myself. I knew I could do something else.”
He also understood that even if he had a chance in the NFL, he knew his time would likely be short.
“The lifespan of an NFL player is three years,” he said. “I saw it as three years that I could be in real estate. I can control it. Whereas if you’re in the NFL, you could play Arizona this year and play Philadelphia next year. I didn’t want to go through that. I thought about my purpose and what I wanted out of life instead of doing something because everyone else wanted me to do it.
But Tucker-Dorsey has always prepared for the future.
While at Lake Taylor, he learned a trade as a welder.
He was the No. 12 senior at South Hampton Roads for the Class of 2017. He helped lead the Titans to the Class 4 state title game as a junior and state quarterfinals as a senior. He earned All-Tidewater, all-state, all-region and all-conference honors.
He was under-recruited coming out of high school and went to James Madison, where he became an FCS All-American linebacker. In four seasons, he recorded 204 tackles (73 solo), 14.5 for loss, nine pass breakups, four sacks and four interceptions.
With one year of eligibility remaining, he entered the transfer portal and became one of the best recruited players on the portal. He went to Texas, where he played in 13 games, including one start. He finished with 44 tackles (22 solo), three tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one quarterback rushing and one pass breakup.
“I think for me personally, I maxed it out. I really think I did it,” he said of his playing career. “He gave me everything he needed. It was a tool for me. I got the money, I got the experience, I was able to make connections, and I have no regrets. I am very proud of what I was able to achieve.”
Tucker-Dorsey, who majored in public policy administration with a minor in management, wrote about his experience for Sports Illustrated. He wrote for student-athletes, but it could be applied to anyone’s life.
He works as an agent partner in the Livian Texas team located in Austin.
“I love it. I like it because it’s routine,” he said. “It takes a lot of work. You get what you put in. And your actions give you your result.
If you have a child who wants to attend this job fair, please call 757-577-4429 to register.
Larry Rubama, 757-575-6449, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter @LHRubama