Derrick Coleman was introduced to the world via his Duracell commercial about playing fullback for the Seattle Seahawks, despite being hearing impaired.
His story has inspired the whole country and especially hits home for students at Northwest School for Hearing Impaired Children in Shoreline, Wash.
Teachers at the school said the students have been buzzing about the ad all week. On Thursday, Kabian Rendel showed the YouTube clip to her class. Students were glued to the screen and teachers were brought to tears as they watched the video.
“It's so heart warming and inspirational,” said student Riley Beck.
On the schools dream wall several students wrote about their dreams to play professional sports.
“It makes me want to become a Seahawks player in my future,” said student Devon Sample.
In an interview with CBS News, Coleman talked about how being hearing impaired was just an obstacle to overcome.
“And my parents just told me you can do whatever you want, you just have to work hard at it,” said Coleman. “And not just hard, twice as hard as everyone else.”
Rendel got choked up as she emphasized that point to her students.
“It feels like what we try to teach you every day,” said Rendel to the class. “That you can do whatever you want, that your deafness will not stop you.”
Sample said the video brought his mom to tears as they watched at home.
“She was crying because she has a lot of hope for my future,” said Sample.
One of the students along with his mother wrote a letter to the Seahawks and Coleman asking him to come speak at the school during the offseason. There’s no doubt Coleman will be happy to hear how his story has inspired these students.
You can bet the students and their parents will have their eyes glued to the TV to see No.40 on the field Sunday for the NFC championship.