DIXON – Sean Considine, just days before the first anniversary of his final game in the National Football League, ate lunch Wednesday with students at St. Anne Catholic School. He even cleared his place at the table after eating.
Considine, 31, retired from the NFL after he played in Super Bowl XLVII. He recently had a house built for himself, his wife and five children in Byron, where he grew up, so he could live close to the area he calls home.
“It’s just nice to come back and talk to kids in the local communities and share my experiences and talk about some of the things I used to help me build a career in football,” he said. “Maybe I can give these kids a boost they need to chase their dreams.”
Considine also spoke Wednesday afternoon to nearly 50 students and teachers in the church, where he stressed the importance of education, family, hard work and surrounding yourself with “winners.”
Sister Marcianne of St. Anne said the students could learn from the way Considine carried himself on and off the field, and the priority he placed on education.
“We didn’t invite him because he was a football player,” she said. “We invited him because of the values he holds.”
Steve Saudilloc, the school’s physical education teacher, had followed Considine’s career from Byron High School to the University of Iowa to the NFL. It was his idea to ask Considine to speak during Catholic Schools Week. The fact that it’s the same week as the Super Bowl, Saudilloc said, was “perfect timing.”
Considine went to Iowa, he said, in part because of the business program. Even after earning a scholarship and finishing his final college season, he was planning to use his marketing degree and was ready to take a job in that field.
But he was picked in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, which had John Harbaugh, the current coach of the Baltimore Ravens, on its coaching staff.
Harbaugh is one of the people with whom Considine built a relationship and an example of the kind of “winners” he recommended the St. Anne’s students surround themselves with. That relationship with Harbaugh, Considine said, resulted to a Super Bowl ring.
Considine started the 2011 season playing for the Carolina Panthers. During the season, his wife, Nicole, gave birth to triplets. Four games into the season, Considine was cut from the team, but was quickly picked up by the Arizona Cardinals.
It was during that time, away from his family, that Considine learned his primary goal needed to be being a good husband and father. He was ready to retire after the 2011 season, he said, until he got a phone call from Harbaugh.
Considine said he had talked with other teams, but none guaranteed him a roster spot and made him feel comfortable about leaving his family – until Harbaugh, who told Considine to bring his family to Baltimore.
Considine made a key block in the Super Bowl, in his final game, to let Jacoby Jones score on a 108-yard kickoff return.
From Byron to Iowa to the Super Bowl, Considine told the students at St. Anne, he surrounded himself with the right people to grow as an athlete, person, father and husband, ending his career with a Super Bowl ring, which he let the student pass around Wednesday.
With a Super Bowl win, Considine said, he was ready to settle down in Byron and work on the goal of being a great husband and father.
“It made it a lot easier to make that decision, obviously, with a Super Bowl ring,” he said.