Dylan Donahue feels fortunate to have a second chance.
At football. And, most of all, at life.
The New York Jets linebacker knew he needed to make some major changes this offseason after making a decision that nearly cost him everything.
The 25-year-old Donahue was arrested and charged with drunken driving early on Feb. 26 after police say he drove the wrong way in the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey and collided with a jitney bus, injuring four people.
"I'm a firm believer in God," Donahue said after practice Tuesday. "I was born and raised Christian and I believe that He saved me and the other people that were involved."
Donahue "definitely" considered the incident a wake-up call, and soon after checked himself into a substance-abuse treatment facility in Jacksonville, Florida, after his second DUI arrest in less than a year. Donahue, a fifth-round pick last year out of West Georgia, had another DUI arrest in his hometown of Billings, Montana, on May 9, 2017 - 10 days after he was drafted by the Jets.
Newly sober #Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue spent 30 days in a treatment facility this offseason after two DUI arrests in less than a year. "It was a life-changing experience." More from @DWAZ73: https://t.co/KRUZJZzTgT pic.twitter.com/lpbf804A7s- AP NFL (@AP_NFL) May 27, 2018
"That was a major factor in why I decided to go down for treatment," he said.
Donahue spent 30 days at an in-patient facility, working to become sober.
"It was very enlightening," he said. "I went through a lot. ... I think it was a life-changing experience. So, it was very awakening and life-changing this offseason."
He fully embraced the idea of going to rehab, something he hadn't previously considered.
"It wasn't necessarily a scary experience," Donahue said. "I was honestly kind of excited because I was ready to make some life changes."
Donahue also sought out former Jets teammate Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who spoke openly last season about his recovery from alcohol abuse. The tight end, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, detailed his own steps to Donahue and gave him hope that he, too, could make drastic positive changes.
"He actually helped a lot," Donahue said. "Seeing someone else do it, especially someone on the same team as you, that definitely built my confidence." >> Read more
Copyright 2018 by the Associated Press