Former Detroit Lion Cory Schlesinger Teaching Students Life Lessons

USA TODAY Sports-Michael Sackett

Cory Schlesinger was the most powerful fullback in Detroit Lions history. The fullback position, which is now seldom used in the NFL, required Schlesinger to rush with the ball, block for running backs behind him and catch passes out of the backfield. Over a 12 year NFL career, Schlesinger did just that. The former Lions star is now a teacher giving kids real life experiences to help them succeed in life.

During his career as a Lion and a Nebraska Cornhusker, Schlesinger continued to complete classes and finish his teaching degree for his post football career. Cory is now a high school teacher at Allen Park High School. He teaches construction, drafting and home repair classes. Despite being recognized by parents and teachers as a former professional football player, Schlesinger is happy to have an impact on kids’ futures. Schlesinger works on preparing students for jobs out of high school and further career training in college.

The media often tells us stories of NFL stars being washed out and losing their millions of dollars after their careers are over. Vince Young made millions of dollars and declared bankruptcy. Warren Sapp fell behind on child support, despite getting paid to be a NFL analyst.

Personally, I’m glad that the students at Allen Park High School have Schlesinger as a teacher. While on the field, Schlesinger was a dominating blocker and earned the nickname “Sledge”. Now in the classroom, he is helping students dominate real life situations and prepare for careers. Maybe the NFL should praise examples like this instead of glorifying bankruptcy stories from players with endorsement deals and signing bonuses.

In his NFL career, Schlesinger played 165 games with the Lions. Schlesinger rushed for 473 yards and five touchdowns, while also adding 1,445 receiving yards and nine receiving touchdowns. Schlesinger’s key statistics will never show up on paper. He was the lead blocker for Barry Sanders in several seasons. Cory was part of the reason Sanders set a career best 2,053 yards and 6.1 rushing average during the 1997 season.

In High School, Schlesinger was a football star at the linebacker position. During his senior season, Schlesinger also played fullback and rushed for 1,514 yards and 23 touchdowns. Cory also was a dominant wrestler, winning the state championship twice in Nebraska’s 189 pound division.

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