Bills’ Shaq Lawson pens heartfelt letter to late father

Shaq Lawson's father never got to see him make it to the NFL, but he remains an important source of inspiration for the Buffalo Bills defensive end.

In honor of Father's Day, Lawson wrote a touching letter to his dad, who passed away in a car accident when Lawson was 15 years old, explaining how much of an impact his words and actions had on him.

Here's an excerpt, from

Early in my NFL career I learned from your example to surround myself with the right people. You always hung out with positive people. People who were going to impact your life in a positive way. I know not to be with people who are going to bring me down.

I know a lot of people say we share the same smile and it makes me happy to know that people are reminded of you when they see me smiling and enjoying life. You always had a smile on your face and were a bigger than life personality. It was easy for you to make friends with just about anybody.

I always admired how you found a way to smile through the ups and the downs. I try to carry myself in the same way.

I still recall our conversations about my football career and where it was headed. You always told me, "Remember why you started." One of your favorite lines was, "high school hero, backyard zero."

Now more than ever I respect how you used yourself as an example to me so I wouldn’t fall into the same pitfalls that you did after a very successful high school basketball career. You never got to play at the pro level because you chose to rest on your high school and college successes thinking the next level would just naturally happen. It pushed me to work harder to ensure I could make the most of my football talents in college and give myself an opportunity as a professional.

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