While some NFL players are spending the enforced offseason in workouts with their teammates and others (like Minnesota’s Ray Edwards(notes) and Baltimore’s Tom Zbikowski(notes)) are spending it in the boxing ring, third-year safety David Bruton(notes) of the Denver Broncos has set himself on a different path — he’s spending the lockout as a substitute teacher at his old high school in Ohio, teaching social studies and credit recovery (yes, they have those classes for teenagers now) for the not-so princely sum of $90 per day.
Bruton, who majored in political science and sociology at Notre Dame and received a Bachelor’s Degree in 2009, applied for and received a one-year substitute teacher’s license from the Ohio Department of Education, according to Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post.
“I’m just trying to keep busy,” Bruton told the Post, “and it’s nice to be able to give back to my community.” First called to teach second-grade classes on March 12, Bruton moved to Miamisburg High School in Dayton, Ohio, to continue his teaching journey. He’s been lifting weights close to home as opposed to training with teammates in Denver so that he can spend time with his 5-year-old son, who lives with his former girlfriend. “I got the playbook, I study. But I don’t get much time with Jaden during the season, so I want to spend as much time with him now as I can,” Bruton said.
Tim Lewis, Bruton’s high school coach and an administrator at Miamisburg High, was the one who pointed his former student in the direction of teaching. “He was very professional,” said Lewis. “He looked like he was completely in control, like he’d done it before.”
Bruton, who was selected by the Broncos in the fourth round of the 2009 draft, has also kept his athleticism at peak level by playing kickball at recess with the aforementioned second-graders. The 23-year-old safety will soon be out of work at his second job when the school year ends, and though he wants a long and prosperous NFL career, he’s also looking at law school once that career is over. In the meantime, there will be time to study the Broncos playbook and hope for a quick resolution to the labor battle that is forcing more and more players to find creative answers to that eternal question — “What do I do with all this free time?”
Bruton should be commended for finding a solution that helps everyone involved.