It's not the NFL, but to Coach Darwin Salaam II this is better.
"Big believer in everything happening for a reason," Salaam said. "Being here at Sparkman is a prime example of that. If someone would have told me when I was their age that I would be here, I would be like, 'Man, you're crazy. You didn't make it to the league?' But, I'm happy that I'm here, super happy."
Salaam is a coach, trainer and motivator, impacting Sparkman High school, Madison County and the world.
"There's 24 hours in a day for everybody," Salaam said. "What you do to maintain it and to maximize that time is up to you."
In the fall, he's working with Sparkman football, while running his business, Squad Inc., inside Empire Fitness in Madison.
In the spring, he's overseas in Sweden and Japan, teaching American football.
So, he's not playing on Sundays, and that's OK. His new dream is to help kids grow mentally and physically all over the world.
"We live in a culture where people feed off of compliments. I don't do it for that...I do it to help people and to stay positive," Salaam said.