Shaun Draughn has a strong work ethic. He is always looking to improve on the field and off the field. Whether he is training to be the best running back in the NFL or helping out those in need in his community, Shaun is always striving to accomplish a goal. He also takes the role of fatherhood very seriously. Shaun and his wife Shonda are blessed with two kids, a daughter and a son. He and his wife show their kids what it means to give to others when they set up the Shaun Draughn Foundation.
The Shaun Draughn Foundation was recently founded by him and his wife to provide basic life skills, exposure to opportunities otherwise not available through mentorship and community involvement to middle and high school students in his home town of Tarboro, North Carolina and parts of Raleigh, North Carolina where Shonda grew up. On March 31st you can help out the foundation by playing in the foundation’s first bowling tournament if you are in the Raleigh area. There will be some current and former NFL players there bowling too!
I was able to chat with Shaun about football, the great work he and his wife does for their foundation and what it means for him to be a dad.
Art Eddy: Let’s first talk about your football career. Tell me about your first game. What do you remember from that game?
Shaun Draughn: My first official NFL game I actually scored a touchdown and got fined twice in the same game. (Both laugh.) I don’t think I will ever forget my first game. That is what I remember about it. We lost to the Atlanta Falcons. I was with the Kansas City Chiefs. So that was my memorable moment from my first game.
SD: I actually did, but no I don’t know where it is. I have been around so many places and moved so many places that it is hard to keep up with stuff. I have a couple from this year.
AE: What was the transition like for you from college to the NFL?
SD: I would say that it was a job and of course the money. For the game I think it was really the speed of the game. It is a little more complex than college. Everyone runs the same thing pretty much. There are so many adjustments that you can make. Just the speed of the guys that were out there was a lot different.
AE: Is there one game that stands out to you more than others so far in your career?
SD: My first NFL start which was in 2015 on November 8th. It was with the San Francisco 49ers. That was my favorite moment. I didn’t get my first start until my sixth year in the league. It was very gratifying. I have been through a lot of ups and downs in this career, but it is just gratifying to be a starter in the NFL. I got to start six games that year. It kind of revived my career a little bit. So I would say that is my favorite moment.
SD: So our foundation is two parts. It is me and my wife. She wants to work more with the young ladies on self-esteem and character building. We both want to teach life skills. It is sort of a mentor thing. I provide exposure to things that they otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to being that they are from a small town.
I want to do most of my stuff in my hometown of Tarboro. We will have different speakers come in. Somebody from a bank and show them how to do a deposit slip. I remember my first time trying to take a check to the bank. When I got to the bank I realized I didn’t know what I was doing or even how to deposit a check. I thought you could just take it to the bank and tell them that you wanted to put it into your account, but you have to fill out a deposit slip. They did it for me the first time, but that was something that I didn’t realize I didn’t know.
We will have financial advisors like some of the guys that I worked with to educate them on investing, talking about credit scores and things like that. It is something that they wouldn’t need right now, but we want to work with middle and high school students. We want to prepare them for life outside from where they are. Allow them to realize there is a bigger picture of real life that will come to them pretty fast whether they go to college or get into the work force. That is what we want to do.
We have a celebrity bowling event. It is the first event we are doing with the foundation. We are blessed to have a good response from people. I was surprised especially from our first one. It is a bowling event where I have about ten guys now. Some of them are NFL guys. I have Torrey Smith coming. Mike Purcell and Eli Harold from the 49ers. Willie Parker, UNC great and former Steeler. Juwan Thompson, who played at Duke who now plays for the Broncos. Todd Gurley. We are from the same town. Terrance Copper who I played with at Kansas City. He was like my big brother. He is a great guy. There will be different companies there as well. They have sponsored lanes. The event is fifty dollars and it a tax write off. It goes to the foundation. I think we have two lanes left. You can get those before they sell out.
SD: Wow that was probably my first word. What was I going to do? I was a young daddy. We were graduating when I found out during my senior year of college. That whole year I was kind of in shock to be honest with you. I knew that I wanted to be a great dad. I knew from experience kind of what that took from my dad. My dad is a great dad. He is my role model. My dad was the one who instilled in me how to be a great father. I just want to keep passing it down.
That first moment I was shocked to say the least. I was happy eventually because that is part of you. That is your seed that comes to life. It was exciting after a while, but at first I was a little scared and nervous about the situation, but it is great.
AE: What are some of the core values you look into your kids as they grow up?
SD: We are definitely Christ believers. My dad was a pastor. He instilled in me early on the core values of being a Christian. We are Christian household. That is what we try to pass down to our kids. We have young kids right now. I was reading this book. I forget the exact name of it, but it was about shepherding your family as a father. It brought to light some of the things that I need to do and that I wanted to do. I didn’t feel like it was the right time to do it as far as their ages.
My five year old girl, London we bought her a Bible. She can’t really understand everything that is in it. We came up with a way for her to remember a Bible verse. We let her write down a Bible verse and taped it to her door. Every morning she gets up and recites her Bible verse and then before she goes to bed. She says her prayers, but now she has her Bible verse. We were coming into the house the other day and she was out of nowhere just started quoting the Bible verse. That just makes you proud to really see the fruits of not only your labor, but to see that they get it. That is something huge for us. It is so easy to get away from or not even realize how important it is to spend that type of time with your kids. It is really important to spend time with the Lord and give thanks and what it means to have a relationship with God. That is a big core value for us.
AE: What advice do you have for new dads?
SD: I would say practice patience if you don’t already have it. Your kids will test your patience to an extent. I am a far more conscious now of how I discipline the kids as far as what I say. My biggest advice would be to have patience and work on your patience.
Life of Dad Quick Five
AE: Do you guys have a favorite family movie that you all love to watch together?
SD: Moana is the kids’ favorite right now. It is either Moana or The Secret Life of Pets.
AE: Do you guys have a favorite song that you all like to sing to or dance to as a family?
SD: My kids like Uptown Funk. There is a new song called Rolex that my niece came over and introduced them to. They like Roar by Katy Perry.
AE: Describe the perfect family vacation.
SD: Somewhere on a beach with some white sand, some clear aqua, beautiful water, great food and some relaxing time.
AE: What are your kicks of choice to play in on game day?
SD: They are actually lacrosse cleats that I play in. A lot of the guys started playing in them. They are Nike lacrosse cleats. I have them customized in all types of colors. That is my cleat. That is what I like to wear.
AE: What does your pregame song list look like?
SD: Of course since it is on Sunday so I usually listen to a sermon when I get up. Sometime it runs into when I am stretching and getting into the hot tub before the game. I listen to all types of music. So I don’t have a specific playlist that I listen to. I listen to Gospel and R&B. That is my every day get into the car and listen to. I usually look to the locker room. My guy Quinton Patton was the DJ for our locker room. His DJ name was No Requests. (Both laugh.) He would play songs, but you couldn’t request them. I turn to those guys for that type of music.