Philanthropist. Motivational Speaker, Burgeoning Entrepreneur and Trailblazing Rising National Football League star, David Vernon Jr. – “DJ” is a young man on an unrelenting mission. His dedication to pursuing excellence and raising the bar on the field as a Defensive Nose Tackle for the Houston Texans, only mirrors his resolve and commitment to making big plays off the field as well.
DJ credits his endearing parents Felicia and the late David Vernon Reader Sr. who planted these seeds at a very early age. Home schooled until the 6th grade by his father and educator, DJ developed a sound foundation that led to his success academically, which in turn propelled his athleticism.
The Greensboro, North Carolina native’s talents on the gridiron and baseball diamond at Grimsley High School, generated buzz among coaches and scouts nationwide, fielding numerous collegiate D1 offers in two disciplines, football and baseball. Clemson beat out the others for the top spot.
DJ'S FOOTBALL CAREER
At Clemson, DJ’s athletic career continued to sizzle and reached many impressive milestones, including becoming the first two sport athlete on the 2013 Clemson baseball team. However, he decided to hang up his cleats to concentrate on football full time. This courageous effort graciously paid off. DJ finished his illustrious collegiate career with 145 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 5 sacks and 24 quartberback pressures in 1087 snaps over 46 games and 10 starts, becoming the second Clemson Tiger to letter on top 25 football and baseball teams in one academic year.
Sadly, tragedy struck in 2014, DJ lost his biggest supporter and confidante, after his father died suddenly of renal failure. Reader Sr.’s untimely passing has become the catalyst to launch the ‘David Reader Sr. Foundation’ to educate others about the disease and to save lives in his father’s honor and memory. His father’s death also fueled DJ’s fire to continue his football career in a grand fashion by playing in the NFL.
This dream became a reality in 2016, after DJ was drafted in the 5th round on the 166th overall pick by the Houston Texans and just like at Grimsley and Clemson for the Texans in his first year, DJ did NOT disappoint. He finished his rookie season with seven starts and 22 tackles and one sack. After this breakout season, all eyes are on DJ, as his career with the Texans continues and Reader will not only meet those expectations but surpass them as history has shown.
Reader’s love for the game is only second to his love for his mother, family and encouraging the youth. His annual DJ Reader Football camp teaches fundamentals of the game to hundreds of children in Greensboro and the surrounding areas free of charge.
His future plans include careers in financial literacy and real estate and most importantly being of service to others as he continues to climb the ladder of success.