Tucker, along with the other 2015-2016 Built Ford Tough Players of the Year, were honored at a special ceremony at AT&T Stadium on Saturday, February 6, 2016. In week nine of the regular football season, Tucker was named the Built Ford Tough Player of the Week for division 5A – an honor reserved for the Lone Star State’s elite athletes. It was that award that landed Tucker in the company of 10 time Pro-Bowler, Jason Witten.
“Hearing Jason’s story was so motivating. He shared how he was downgraded by scouts and was told he would never be good enough to make it. I felt inspired by that, because I also have been counted out. I have been told that I am too small and won’t make it,” shared Tucker.
Ignoring the naysayers and committed to pursuing his dreams, Tucker’s trip to AT&T Stadium fueled his motivation to reach the next level.
“Being in the Cowboys locker room was an incredible experience. We walked in, they gave us our nameplates, showed us to our locker with a custom Dallas Cowboys jersey, and presented us with rings – it made me want to work even harder to get there someday,” Tucker said.
Tucker will graduate this year from Terrell High School and continue his education and football career with Prairie View A&M University in Texas, where many Tiger fans, including Head Football Coach, Mike Shields, will be cheering for his continued success.
“I am so happy and proud of Dawonya. He has put in so much work on the football field and in the classroom; all the awards he received this year are well deserved. I am excited for what his future holds,” said Shields.
Reflecting on his championship season with the Terrell Tigers and the accolades and awards he and his team earned this year, Tucker expressed what he hopes TISD students and community members take away from his experience.
“I want kids to know that it doesn’t matter where you come from; anything is possible. Don’t ever let someone tell you what you can’t do. Put God first, dedicate yourself in the classroom, work hard, and success will come.”
Tune in to see Dawonya Tucker at the Built Ford Tough Awards Ceremony on February 22, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest.
On behalf of the entire Terrell Proud, Tiger Strong community, congratulations and best of luck to you, Dawonya! We look forward to celebrating all of your future successes as a Prairie View Panther and maybe someday as a Dallas Cowboy. Because as you said, “anything is possible.”