From NFL hopeful to heroin addict: How a Kent State football star overcame addiction

He was a standout football player at Poland Seminary High School, then a star safety at Kent State University.

“Football was my first love,” he said. “A lot of people could say it was my first drug. It was everything to me.”

The NFL was in reach for Wollet until he was sidelined with a knee injury during his senior season at Kent State.

“Anytime there was a problem, I just ran to football. Now that football, in a sense, was taken away, I no longer had an answer to my problems.”

To numb his pain, he turned to pills, but quickly those pills turned to heroin.

“This stuff doesn’t discriminate against anybody,” Wollet said.

Wollet’s body of work in college was good enough to earn him a tryout with the New Orleans Saints. But by then, his addiction was too strong to overcome.

“By the time I was in New Orleans I was a full-blown heroin addict. For 16 years my dream was to play in the NFL, and just like that it switched to a desire to seek drugs.”

A star in America’s most beloved game quickly became part of America’s biggest problem.