Nightly News   |  January 17, 2014

How Deaf NFL Star ‘Kept on Pushing’ to Achieve Greatness

In what’s considered the loudest stadium in the NFL, Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman can only feel the noise surrounding him.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> reporter: growing up in seattle will make you a fan of the seahawks. but something else is making these kids a fan of one seahawk in particular, number 40.

>> he has hearing aids like me.

>> reporter: he is talking about derrick coleman , who recently paid a visit to listen & talk, a program for kids with hearing loss . coleman left a big impression on 5-year-old korrigan donaldson.

>> what do you want to do when you grow up?

>> i want to be a football player.

>> reporter: coleman is the first deaf offensive player in the nfl. the fullback for the seahawks just happens to play in a stadium known for earth shaking cheers that actually measure on the richter scale .

>> it's great. i mean, their energy is basically more energy for us, more motivation.

>> reporter: can you feel the fans?

>> oh, yeah. i can feel it.

>> reporter: coleman 's hearing aids help on the fields but more than anything he relies on reading lips.

>> it's my job to go out and prove to everybody basically what i'm doing now, that i can do the same thing everybody else can do.

>> this is around 2 years old.

>> reporter: his mother knows it wasn't easy. growing up kids would tease her son who has been deaf since age 3.

>> i would tell him, you know what? god made you like you are for a purpose and a reason and you don't let anybody bring you down.

>> i was picked on.

>> reporter: coleman 's story "perseverance" is now featured in a duracell commercial that's gone viral.

>> now i'm here with a lot of fans in the nfl cheering me on, and i can hear them all.

>> reporter: he empowers kids like josh masters who claims of -- who dreams of playing college basketball .

>> we've both been put down and had setbacks just because we're deaf, but beyond that we both kept on pushing.

>> reporter: that is why coleman shares his story.

>> i just want at least one of them to walk out of there knowing that, okay. i can do this.

>> reporter: an inspiring message fans can hear and, most of all, feel. nbc news, seattle.