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New book chronicles Eric Weddle's rise to stardom

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Former Utes All-American Eric Weddle is the subject of a new book which chronicles his rise to NFL stardom with the San Diego Chargers.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Eric Weddle has defied the odds his entire football career. He was told he was too short, to slow, not athletic enough.

Well, look at him now.

In a new book titled No Excuses, No Regrets: The Eric Weddle Story, author Trent Toone chronicles Weddle's rise from unheralded high school player to NFL all-pro.

"I didn't necessarily dream that I'd be in the NFL," Weddle said. "I thought it was so far-fetched. I just thought they were mythical people that played."

Now, Weddle is one of them. He's one of the top safeties in the NFL, has been named an all-pro three times, and is in the middle of a 5-year $40-million contract with the San Diego Chargers.

Not highly recruited out of high school, Weddle was given the opportunity to blossom at the University of Utah under the tutelage of head coach Kyle Whittingham.

"Luckily I had great mentors with Coach Whitt and the entire staff," he said. "I played with so many great players at Utah. The whole experience there just helped me grow and helped me become the player and person I am today. Even in the NFL, I go back to the tough times I had at Utah and then battling back. We made it to a bowl game even though we might not have been the most talented team."

A second round draft back in 2007, Weddle didn't transition easily into the NFL.

"I look back to the tough times I had the first couple years and having the whole city and fans despise me," he said.

But after six years in San Diego, Weddle is now one of the most beloved players on the team. He has 16 career interceptions, five sacks, and has missed just four games total. But he's not satisfied with his career yet.

"As the years go by, I have an even bigger burning desire to be the best," Weddle said. "Each year, it seems like I get up earlier, stay longer and work out harder. There is always work to be done. There's always room for improvement. I'm never satisfied in a game whether I had two picks, I still feel like I can get better."

Weddle hopes young people can learn from his story, and realize that no matter how stacked the deck is against them, they can achieve their dreams.

"I hope they learn that you should never let anyone tell you that you can't do something," Weddle said. "You decide what your fate is. You decide what your future holds, and don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something."
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