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Neenah native and UW-Whitewater LT Addison Deshambo hoping for a shot at playing in the NFL

Neenah native and UW-Whitewater LT Addison Deshambo hoping for a shot in the NFL
Posted at 8:19 PM, Feb 05, 2024

HOBART (NBC 26) — From playing football at St. Mary Catholic High School to attending UW-Whitewater just for academics without any real interest in playing football. Now, one Neenah athlete is putting in the work to make his NFL dream come true.

  • After graduating from St. Mary Catholic Addison Deshambo had no plans to continue his football career.
  • Now Broncos offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz convinced the UW-Whitewater coaching staff to let Deshambo join the team
  • Deshambo is hoping for a shot in the NFL, but if that doesn’t workout he’s hoping to pursue a career with NASA.

“For everything that I have been through to feel like it’s paid off and it was worth something, that would just mean the world to me,” said Addison Deshambo.
Deshambo wanted to be an astrophysicist and one day work at NASA, but midway through his freshman year at UW-Whitewater life had other plans.

“I was kind of picked out of the crowd when I started going to the gym and losing weight and I had a lot of people ask me if I played football, if I wanted to play football and it just kind of snowballed from there," he said.

Snowballed is right. One of the people who took notice of him was Warhawks offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz, who now plays for the Denver Broncos. It’s hard not to notice Deshambo’s large stature, listed at 6-foot-7, 356 lbs on UW-Whitewater’s roster. Deshambo then reached out to Warhawks head coach Kevin Bullis to see if there was an opportunity.

“Initially the head coach looked at my film from my high school and said, ‘no,’ which is understandable,” said Deshambo.

But after Meinerz had a conversation with Bullis, Deshambo was allowed to work out with the team.

“That can be a very small thing for him, but for me, that was career-defining,” Deshambo said of Meinerz helping him get on the team. “That was life-changing. For him to just say, ‘Hey we should give this guy a chance’ – the next four years are history.”

He only had a few workouts as a Warhawk before COVID-19 happened, but it reignited his spark for football.

“I spent all of the pandemic training in my yard,” Deshambo said. (I was) using logs, rocks, whatever I had. Our tetherball pole became an overhead squat thing for me. Just whatever I could get my hands on, I was using to my benefit.”

He would have to wait until over two years to become a full-time starter. One season was lost due the pandemic and another he was a backup. He also had to give up his academic dream. It was too tough to balance the workload. 

“I was just kind of in this mindset, every single day it’s just a chance or an opportunity to prove myself and that’s what I need to take it as, because I technically haven’t earned it yet," he said.

He started at right tackle for a year and then spent his final season at left tackle for the Warhawks. Now at Synergy Sports Performance, he’s working hard for a shot at the NFL.

“The only thing that I have to do is to make someone do a double-take, or think huh alright we can work with that – all it takes is one person to look at me differently and give me a shot. That's all I'm really hoping for,” Deshambo said.

If the NFL doesn’t workout, he now has a degree in environmental science, where he still hopes to one day work for NASA.

“I’ll perform at the pro day (at UW-Whitewater next month) as best I can and if it catches somebody's eye, I'll be more than happy to play at the next level and if not I'm very happy with the academic career that I have forged as well,” said Deshambo.