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From the football field to the medical field: Former Bronco working to become physical therapist

David Bruton Jr. is pursuing a doctorate degree in physical therapy at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

AURORA, Colo — Nearly every NFL player will tell you about the dream that began in childhood. 

Not many will tell you about the dream of playing football and then going into the medical field -- but David Bruton Jr. will. 

“It’s something I loved being around as a kid," Bruton said. "Getting PT on my hip flexors and just building that relationship with the physical therapist because you see them day in day out."

Bruton is part of the class of 2021, pursuing a doctorate degree in physical therapy at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. His next dream is to graduate and open a clinic with a focus on youth concussion recovery. 

Once a pre-med student at Notre Dame University, Bruton changed his major to political science and sociology, then he was drafted by the Denver Broncos.

As a strong safety and captain of special teams, Bruton enjoyed a lot of success and a Super Bowl victory. He also suffered a dislocated shoulder, a broken leg, broken ribs and a few concussions. After several years in the league, he knew when it was time to move on. 

“Football’s given me the chance to provide for my family, continue to play the game I love and learn things that I can take into the next profession and help other people outside the family," Bruton said. 

Bruton is looking forward to achieving this dream. While he loved playing football at the highest level, he believes the reward will be greater in this next career, where he can help others get back to functioning at a high level to improve their own lives.

Assistant Professor Amy McDevitt considers him the ideal student because of his intellectual abilities and his previous life experience in the NFL.

“Before he was the patient and he was receiving the treatment, receiving the therapy," McDevitt said. "And now he really gets to exercise his mind and apply his anatomy and apply his communication skills.”

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