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Love And Football: Rachel Terrill's Struggle For Identity As An NFL Wife08:23
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"It was never my dream to marry someone in the NFL, but it was a life that I very much loved and enjoyed." (Courtesy of Rachel Terrill)
"It was never my dream to marry someone in the NFL, but it was a life that I very much loved and enjoyed." (Courtesy of Rachel Terrill)
This article is more than 3 years old.

Rachel Terrill met Craig, her future husband, in a group project at Purdue University.

"I made myself the group leader and assigned him to do the introduction and conclusion," she says. "I was afraid he would mess it up because that's what a dumb jock would do."

But then she got to know him better.

"I realized there was a lot more to him than just being a jock. He was quiet, but he was very intelligent."

After finishing her undergraduate degree at Purdue, Rachel enrolled in graduate school in Florida. One week, Craig came to town to play a game and invited Rachel to dinner.

"And that was the night that I fell madly in love," Rachel says.

When the Seattle Seahawks drafted Craig in the sixth round of the 2004 NFL draft, Rachel had mixed emotions.

"Seattle was all the way across the country. I didn't know anything about the NFL other than what I saw on television or what I read about in the news, and none of that was good. And it was scary. But because I was so crazy in love with him, I was also extremely excited for his dream."

Rachel's dream was to stay in Florida and finish graduate school. So she came up with a plan.

"Realizing that we couldn't go back and forth easily, I asked my adviser what he would think about me studying love in the NFL...in the field? My adviser said, 'I think you'll regret it if you go, but I can't stop you.'"

Her research connected her with fellow NFL wives, their husbands and families. And their stories taught her what love in the NFL was really like.

Now a professor, Rachel looks back on her journey of chasing dreams — those of her husband's, and ultimately, her own.

"It was never my dream to marry someone in the NFL, but it was a life that I very much loved and enjoyed."

To hear about Rachel Terrill's NFL love story and the challenges that came with it, click the play button next to the headline at the top of the page.

This segment aired on October 1, 2016.

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