Feature photo by J. Alan Paul Photography
NDSU performance coach Ben Newman brought a special guest along with him to the Bison football Spring Game in April. Washington Redskins starting inside linebacker Will Compton joined Newman to inspire the Bison football team and gave his story of overcoming adversity and buying into the Law of Attraction.
BEN NEWMAN: According to BenNewman.net, Newman is a performance coach, international speaker, and six-time best-selling author. He also motivates the Bison.
WILL COMPTON: Will Compton is a fifth-year inside linebacker for the Washington Redskins. He is from Bonne Terre, Missouri, and spent his college career at the University of Nebraska.
You can watch our interview below with the two most inspirational men you’ll ever meet—Ben Newman and Will Compton.
Will Compton, Ben Newman and the Bison Connection
Like a lot of things in today’s social media-driven society, Ben Newman and Will Compton’s worlds collided inside the Twitter universe. Compton had just finished his senior season at Nebraska where he played linebacker and was a captain of the defense. Newman, an already established performance coach who travels the country and gives more than 100 speeches a year, heard from a friend about Compton’s story.
Compton was fighting for his roster spot on the Washington Redskins before the 2013 season. He was an undrafted free agent hoping to make an impact in training camp to survive the final cuts and make the team.
From a distance and through forging an online friendship, Newman could relate to the Cornhusker’s underdog story. He headed to Virginia to meet with Compton and witness the rookie’s story unfold during camp. Then a text message from the budding Washington linebacker came in.
“Bro, my hamstring is bad,” Compton explained. “It’s shot.”
The two met for dinner and Compton explained everything. He’d been duct taping his leg to hold his hamstring together because he knew if the coaching staff caught wind of his injury, he’d be sent packing.
Compton was on the bottom of the depth chart with two guys in front of him sitting out due to injury. Compton’s chance had arrived to be on the second team defense, but his hamstring was in shambles.
“You think you can do whatever it takes to be out there?” asked Newman at their first dinner together. “Look at me. Without hurting yourself any further, you can go, right?”
Compton gave Newman his response like a man on a mission to fulfill his NFL dream. “I’ve got to go,” he replied.
Compton was as prepared as he could be, said Newman. Compton had written out his goals prior to camp. He documented where he wanted to be in five years and was willing to do everything it took to see his goals come to fruition.
Compton took the field later that day and was a blur on the field.
Wherever the ball was, his No. 51 was next to it. Compton made several interceptions and was having the practice of his life while secretly playing with what they would find out later was a torn hamstring.
When Compton walked off the field, hiding his limp, Newman punched him in his chest plate with enthusiasm. Newman had witnessed his brother risk his career and push his body to the limit to make the most of his opportunity.
Compton was released after the final cuts of training camp, but Washington quickly placed him on the practice squad. He made his NFL debut in Week 17 of that season against the New York Giants. In 2014, Compton’s responsibilities grew following the departure of three other inside linebackers. He appeared in all 16 games, earning his first start against the Arizona Cardinals in October.
Compton started in all 15 games he played for the Redskins in 2016. This April, he resigned with Washington and will be the quarterback of the defense for at least one more season.
In the offseason, Compton has dipped into the performance coaching world along with his mentor and friend Newman. The two bounce around all over the country, and during the NDSU Spring Game, Newman brought Compton to introduce him to the Bison dynasty.
Compton spoke to the team Friday night before the game. Watch the video to hear what he had to say to the Bison.