Peyton Barber, 22, was living the dream. As a member of top seeded Auburn University’s football team this past season, he dreamed of going pro.
But in February, Barber abruptly announced he was withdrawing from school to enter the NFL draft. His mother was homeless and he needed to be there for her financially and emotionally.
With only one red shirt season under his belt at the collegiate level, many felt Barber’s move was high-risk, even with the media attention surrounding Auburn’s team and history of success.
Barber entered the 2016 draft as a free agent, but unfortunately went unsigned—that is until the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed him to the practice roster.
Then came a roller coaster trajectory. In early September, Barber was waived when the team cut its roster to just 53 players. Shortly after, he was offered a position on the practice squad, affording him the opportunity to stay front and center in training staff’s eyes.
The Buccaneers recently announced life-changing news for Barber. He was promoted from the practice squad to active roster.
Through all the changes, Barber stayed resilient and focused. Now his life-long vision of playing in the NFL has materialized and even better, he’s able to provide for his mother in her time of need.