Dj Vanderwerf is a sophomore at East Tennessee State University and started out as a member of the football team.
Vanderwerf is from Sweetwater, Tennessee, where he played quarterback at Sweetwater High School. He has played football for eight years, proving to people he knows the sport well.
In high school, he was a three-sport athlete playing baseball, basketball and of course football.
At ETSU he majors in exercise science. This past off-season, due to roster limitations and NCAA rules for overcrowding, Vanderwerf was cut.
“It felt really good to be a part of the team. That was one of my dreams — to be a part of the football team,” said Vanderwerf. “I am glad I was able to accomplish that.”
In his high school playing career, he was awarded All-District Player in Monroe County and Best Offensive Player in Monroe County.
Most don’t know, but Vanderwerf was born with a birth defect called “Fibular hemimelia,” which led to the bottom part of his leg being amputated when he was 9 months old. Despite this happening to him, Vanderwerf has made no excuse to why he can’t be successful at whatever he does.
“It was a really good opportunity and I have nothing but respect for the coaches,” Vanderwerf said. “I am really grateful for the opportunity.”
As of now, Vanderwerf has not thought about trying out for the team next season. He’s currently focused on academics and wants to help people just like him.
In his playing career, he has shown resilience and commitment to prove doubters wrong, while staying true to himself at the same time. He has shown he can do everything a quarterback has to do to play the game, whether throw or run.He has made sure mobility is not something that holds him back from reaching his dream.
This past summer he fulfilled his dream of being a quarterback at ETSU, regardless of if he still wears that jersey.