Nate Irving, a middle linebacker from North Carolina State who was drafted by the Denver Broncos, can trace the exact date he turned the corner in his football career and his life.
It was the night 22 months ago when he fell asleep at the wheel and drove his SUV into a ditch and two trees, totaling his truck, breaking his body and nearly losing his life.
Irving sustained injuries that included a collapsed lung and a compound fracture in his left leg and was charged with careless and reckless driving after emerging from surgery looking like a half-wrapped mummy.
Now Irving, who was selected in the third round of last weekend's draft, will be asked to serve as Denver's defensive play-caller in coach John Fox's 4-3 scheme.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)