When it comes to positive-minded players, Derek Rivers cannot be omitted from the list. Having had to stay out of the pitch for almost two seasons after his first NFL sign, Derek maintained an amazing patient and positive attitude, improving every bit of his skills throughout the period.
For Rivers, God has a plan in everything that happens and so, a long wait cannot frustrate him. He instead picks up one aspect of the game to work and improve upon each day, keeping himself busy as the waiting time flies. Derek’s positive attitude paid off well when he finally got the chance to hit the field for his NFL debut.
Come along as we take a peep into the life of Derek Rivers, from who he is to some quick but remarkable facts about him.
Who Is Derek Rivers?
Derek Rivers is an American footballer currently playing for the New England Patriots as a Defensive End. Derek is 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 250 lb. He was born on the 9th day of May 1994 in Augusta, Maine, United States. His parents, John Rivers and Mary Leinonen however, left Augusta for Kinston in North Carolina when he was just a five-month-old baby.
At Kinston, Rivers attended the Kinston High School. There, he played as a linebacker and tight end in the school’s football team. Derek took after his father in his sporting talents. John Rivers had played both football and basketball as an undergraduate at Virginia Polytechnic.
After high school, Derek proceeded to Fork Union in Virginia and enrolled at the Fork Union Military School where he trained for one calendar year. On leaving the military school, Derek Rivers furthered his education at the Youngstown State University, majoring in Business. At Youngstown, Rivers joined the University football team – the Youngstown State Penguins.
Derek’s performances at the Youngstown team was a tremendously outstanding one, he recorded a total of 56.5 tackles for loss and 47 QB hurries by the end of his stay. He also emerged FCS All-American twice, and first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection thrice.
Rivers played for the Youngstown State Penguins from the year 2013 to 2016 before kicking off his professional football career. During the 2017 NFL draft, New England Patriots drafted him in the 3rd round, 83rd overall pick.
Soon after his signing with the New England Patriots, Derek suffered a severe knee injury during a preseason joint training between the Patriots and the Texans. He tore his ACL. The unfortunate incident shut down Derek’s budding career before it even started, resulting in a complete loss of his rookie season. Rivers was out for the 2017 season and placed on official injured reserve on 2nd September 2017. He mixed a total of six games.
The Pats’ new pick, however, returned to form early enough for the 2018 season. He was lucky enough to have his injury completely healed. But Derek had a long wait before he was enlisted for a game later in the year. He later made his NFL first appearance in the 3rd week of the 2018 season during his team’s face-off with the Detroit Lions on Sunday, September 23rd.
Since then, Rivers has been growing and improving in leaps and bounds, giving his team high hopes when it comes to his prospects. Although he did not play the February 3 Super Bowl championship game, Derek helped his team to reach the finals.
Quick Facts About The NFL Defensive End
1. Derek Rivers is also a basketball player. He played for the Vikings as a senior, winning the NCHSAA 2A Championship.
2. He recorded 119 solo tackles out of 173, and 41 career sacks in his college career at Youngstown State, making him the college’s All-time top sacker as well as #5 in FCS history of career sacks.
3. Rivers achieved his first NFL career sack in week 17 of the 2018 season. That was during New England Patriots’ play against the New York Jets on December 30.
4. This Defensive End hails from an athletic family. Apart from his father, he has a sister Lydia who plays basketball for NCAA Division I Radford and another named Alena who also plays basketball.
5. Derek Rivers married Lauren Rivers in 2017.