Despite adversity, Etheridge still “moving 4ward”

Published 10:37 pm Monday, December 19, 2011

Former Charles Henderson High School and Auburn University safety Zac Etheridge has been on quite a journey thus far in his football career and has faced adversity throughout.

From a frightening neck injury in college to a lingering knee injury in the pros, Etheridge has used an axiom to help him through tough times, “keep moving 4ward”.

Now, the motivational truism is the inspiration behind his rehab and a new line of wristwatch.

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Deuce Brand, a California based company, has released a signature watch created specifically as a reminder to “Keep Moving 4ward”.

“I shared my story with the company and they wanted to do it,” Etheridge said. “It’s a faith thing. It’s a reminder to keep moving forward no matter what you are going through.”

The watch features “ZE”, Zac’s initials, as well as his #4 that he wore in college in an orange and navy color scheme representing Charles Henderson and Auburn.

“People know about my neck injury.” Etheridge said. “It was an every day thing to work and overcome that. It has always been in my nature to keep moving forward.”

Etheridge was temporarily paralyzed after cracking his fifth vertebra in a game against the University of Mississippi in October of 2009. The next season, Etheridge was back on the field and helped lead Auburn to the 2010 BCS National Championship.

A portion of the proceeds for the “Keep Moving 4ward” signature watch will be donated to America’s Heroes Enjoying Recreation Outdoors (A HERO), which benefits wounded veterans’ by providing outdoor experiences.

“They go to battle and are wounded to protect us,” Etheridge said. “I just felt it was right to give back to them.”

Etheridge is currently training and rehabbing his injured knee in Houston, Tex. He was signed by the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent but released after the injury. He hopes to join another team before the next preseason. Ultimately, Etheridge plans to pursue his dream of coaching after his playing days are over.

The “Keep Moving Forward” watch can be purchased through the Deuce Brand website.