“How do I make my dreams a reality?”
It’s a universal question.
Regardless of what you dream about, there are two things needed to realize your vision: hard work and a dedicated ethic.
National Football League Hall of Famer Isaac Bruce is the epitome of those traits.
Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Bruce was one of fifteen children in his family. Growing up alongside his eight sisters and six brothers, he was a natural overachiever with big dreams. One of those dreams was to star in the NFL.
When Bruce began playing football in school, he learned the importance of having supportive mentors and positive role models. His taught him how to become and stay productive, and those lessons paid off when he led his high school team to the “All County Selection.”
“Those who train you have a responsibility to make sure that you have the right perspective,” Bruce advised.
After high school, Bruce began the long process of finding a college that would best support him in accomplishing his dream. He first attended West Los Angeles College, and then Santa Monica College before finally transferring to Memphis State University. Just one year later, Bruce became the first wide receiver in the history of MSU’s college’s football program to have a post 1,000-yard receiving season. What a groundbreaking accomplishment!
In 1994, Bruce graduated college, and a year later, he grabbed the attention of the NFL and was drafted to the LA Rams.
“Getting to the NFL had its challenges. Memphis State was pretty much known as a basketball school,” Bruce said.
From there, his career took off.
Bruce received the Carroll Rosenbloom Award as a team rookie and was voted “Rookie of the Year” by the Orange County Sports Association AND the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association. And the accolades just kept stacking up.
Emphasizing the importance of support, Bruce reflected fondly, “Every stop I made, there were always people there to help me.”
In 1995, Bruce moved into the house of the then St. Louis Rams, and that is where he remained for fourteen seasons. Throughout that time, he earned multiple recognitions as “Player of the Week,” ranked twelfth on the NFL’s All-Time Single-Season Reception List with 119 catches, broke various team records, took his team to FOUR Pro-Bowls, and enjoyed a Superbowl victory over the Titans.
In short, Bruce realized his dream.
“Making that touchdown in Superbowl XXXIV was a moment and feeling I’d wanted since I was eight years old. I had rehearsed that moment in my backyard and in my imagination countless times.”
When Bruce’s career with the Rams came to an end, he found his way back to California via a serendipitous twist to play his final two seasons in the NFL alongside the San Francisco 49’ers. It was in a game against his former St. Louis team in 2008 that he caught his 1,000th career reception.
Finally, Bruce was traded back to the Rams, and retired with his original NFL team.
Along his journey, Bruce founded the Isaac Bruce Foundation to provide health, wellness, nutrition, fitness, and education resources to young children. Speaking to his inspiration for starting the non-profit, he said:
“It’s part of our make-up, culture, and heritage to do for others. As athletes, we have the platform to speak for those who may be a little timid.”
Many athletes have long-term plans for their lives post retirement, and Bruce was no different.
During the span of his career, he earned the nickname “Reverend” due to his dedication to God and the bible. Now, he’s the full-time “seek-and-save” minister of words at the Life Fellowship Church in North Miami Beach, Florida.
Aside from his foundation and ministry, Bruce hosts a podcast alongside former NFL and college teammate Doc Holliday called the Run Pass Option. These co-hosts don’t just ‘tackle’ football, but also shocking topics within the sports and entertainment world, as well as also important world issues.
Some of Bruce’s advice to live by?
“I believe no matter your next step, preparation is key.”
Isaac Bruce continues to carry and pass along the positive outlooks and messages he was brought up with as a child. He has never lost sight of his true purpose and meaning in life, which is now another fulfilled dream.