NORWALK, Conn. -- Before you watch the Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5, think about those still waiting in the wings. One of them is Norwalk resident -- and former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman -- DJ Morrell.
At 23-years-old, Morrell felt on top of the world when he was recruited for the Bills. However, all that changed in the blink of an eye when the team brought in Rex Ryan as a new head coach.
Before the 2015 season began, Morrell was released.
Feeling like his life had come to an end, Morrell was forced to make a decision to quit or persevere for himself and his family. He found inspiration from his quadriplegic younger brother, Brian, who he now takes care of when he's not training.
"Waiting: The Story of DJ Morrell" is the first episode in a new digital series centering on professional athletes fighting for another shot to compete at the highest level. Morrell, it turns out, went to high school -- and played football with -- Filmmaker Alex Morsanutto whose 14-minute comedy, "Hi-Glow Retro," recently picked up two awards at the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival (see previous Daily Voice story HERE ).
Morsanutto came up with the idea for 'Waiting" in late 2015 and said it was a no-brainer to turn to his best friend to use as his first subject. "DJ and his football career have been the talk of the town since we played high school football together," explained Morsanutto.
"When he was released [from the Bills] it impacted a lot of people in the community because everyone knew how much him playing football meant to him and his family."
The two went to All Saints Catholic School and Norwalk High School and led their football team to a 7-3 record their senior year.
The episode was shot at Norwalk High School, Westhill High School, BlueStreak Sports, and in Westport.
Morsanutto stressed that his goal is to showcase a variety of athletes like Morrell so that hopefully, they will each get another chance. For ideas on athletes to profile, message him at firstname.lastname@example.org.