ASHBURN — The first St. Rita High School football player to reach the Super Bowl once almost gave up the sport to concentrate on bowling.
who's on the San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl XLVII roster despite suffering a season-ending
anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee
anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee, originally dreamed of a pro bowling career.
As a St. Rita sophomore, the Auburn Gresham native pondered transferring to nearby Brother Rice, which had a better bowling squad.
"I wasn't going to let that happen," said 15th-year football head coach Todd Kuska, a West Lawn native. "I told him you can win an individual state bowling title anywhere, but you can only win a state football championship here."
Kuska, also a St. Rita grad, was right as Fleming led the Mustangs to the 2006 Class 7A state crown as a junior before a standout career as an outside linebacker at the University of Notre Dame.
The 49ers, who will face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in New Orleans, selected Fleming in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
But Fleming's season lasted only 15 minutes as he tore his left ACL during his first rookie minicamp.
The 49ers put Fleming, who signed a four-year contract, on the physically unable to perform list for the first eight weeks and moved him to injured reserve for the remainder of this season.
"For some reason, it was meant for me to tear my ACL, as crazy as that sounds," Fleming, 23, said via cell phone from California on Friday. "I just pretty much accepted it and took it as a wakeup call."
For complete story click here Courtesy of Justin Breen, DNAinfo.com