Catching Up with R. Abdullah (PART II)

When Rahim Abdullah left Clemson in 1999 after his junior year, many wondered how he would fare in the NFL.

To read Part I of this two-part feature with former Clemson defender Rahim Abdullah, click here.

CUTigers: What was it like playing in Canada for five years?
Abdullah: That was good. I met a bunch of great guys there and played with Darrel Crutchfield for four years up there. It was a different game but to me, it's a more exciting game than in the NFL because the rules make the game more exciting. I look back on it as a great time. Had I not gone there, then I wouldn't have met my wife.

CUTigers: What about playing in the AFL?
Abdullah: It's great. Learning the different aspects of the game has been an adjustment. All you do is pass rush, so you have to be pesky. You have to learn all the different parts of the indoor game and that is the biggest adjustment.

CUTigers: Is your brother, Khalid, who played for the Bengals, still playing?
Abdullah: He has been playing in Canada for the last two years and we got to play together up there one year on the same team and that was great. That was the first time that we ever got to do that. I'm very proud of him. He didn't have the route that I had, going from a big college like Clemson. He went to a small school, succeeded there and still made it to the NFL. I think he was the first person from his school to make it to the NFL, which was a big deal. My family was very proud of him for that. It was just great to have a brother to play with and for him to make it there made it even better.

CUTigers: How hard was your decision to leave CU a year early?
Abdullah: Clemson was great but it was an easy decision for me because our coaches were leaving. Most of the guys who I hung with and had come in with were leaving too. So, I figured that I had to do what was in my best interest at the time and leaving early was in my best interest. I would have liked to have stayed another year and play another year of college football but I don't look back and regret my decision. I don't regret my decision to leave early but I do regret some of the decisions that I made after that.

CUTigers: Discuss how much you have matured since you played in the NFL.
Abdullah: I never looked at it as a job when I first came out, I just looked at it as something that I loved to do. Now that I'm a husband and a father, I look at it as my job and how I support my family. When I first started out, it was just a way for me to make money and something I had loved to do since I was a kid. Now, I still do the same thing but I also see it as my job. That's something I try to tell the young kids, that they should treat it the same way.

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