FORT WORTH (June 2, 2013) -- As he prepares to run in three events at the national championships in Eugene, Ore. later this week, track wasn't always the plan for Charles Silmon.
"The original goal was to play football. I had big dreams wanting to pursue my career as a football player but, you know, that came to an end," said Silmon.
Silmon was part of a backfield at Waco High that also featured future Baylor Bear Jarred Salubi.
"When we interchanged the two you had something akin to thunder and lightening. Obviously both of them could produce," said former Waco High head football coach Johnny Tusa.
After a state title game appearance in 2006, both were back in 2007. But Silmon would tear the ACL in his left knee.
"I didn't get hit, I didn't get touched. They told me I tore it, thinking my running days were over, my football days are over," said Silmon. "But, I overcame that."
Silmon overcame the injury and was back playing football the next season, but he would tear the ACL in his other (right) knee during the Lions first game.
"I actually thought I was done with sports period. My doctor told me I could actually come back stronger and faster because I'm working parts of my leg that hasn't been worked on," said Silmon. "So, I stayed focused with that."
"We knew his career as a football player at Waco high was ended but if he could get well, he'd have a bright future as a track participant," said Tusa.
"We felt he could come back off of that if he got the surgery done correctly and if he went through the rehab the way he's supposed to go through the rehab," said TCU head track and field coach Darryl Anderson. "Which obviously he did."
Silmon is a six time all-american in track at TCU. During the Big 12 championships this year, he ran the fastest 200 meters in the country at the time. A dream of playing football, track became his destiny.
"God works in mysterious ways," said Silmon. "So, you know, I honestly think track was the best thing for me."
Two reconstructed ACL's later, Silmon has his shot at national titles and a goal of the rio olympics in 2016.
"It was a test for me. And right now I feel like I'm passing that test, said Silmon. "I just want to say don't ever give up, no matter what happens."