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Big Rome: Across varied horizons

Rome Italo Douglas, also known as Big Rome, is an ex-athlete from the USC Trojans. Standing 6’7” tall, Rome is one of those rare players from the US football and basketball field who has managed to carve a niche for himself across a variety of professional teams for both the games. Primarily a football player from the University of Southern California, Douglas was a regular feature in the world of National Football League for almost a decade.

Born in 1976, Rome Douglas had his heart set on basketball, following the footsteps of his father, James Douglas, a well-known basketball player from Memphis., and his uncle Willie Biles, a basketball player from the University of Tulsa.  however, with time, his skills and talent as an All-American football player were noticed at the Claremont High School in Southern California where he was a senior.

He played football as a junior at La Canada St. Francis around 1993 and immediately caught the attention of football coaches from across the country. Rome went on to attend the University of Southern California on a football scholarship.

During his stint at the University of Southern California, Rome was part of the University team and represented various teams from 1995 to 1999. Soon selected for USC Trojans, Rome Douglas played in the Cotton Bowl in 1995 and went on to win the 1995 PAC 10. He was a regular on the university team and was part of the 1996 Rose Bowl and 1998 Sun Bowl while at the USC.

Post college, Rome played in the NFL as a free-agent for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1999 for a year. Injured during his rookie season, he spent the off-season playing in the NFL European league and this lasted for two years. He represented Berlin Thunder during his first year with NFL Europe and was with the Barcelona Dragons during his second year in Europe. Back in the US, he played the NFL once again with the New York Giants in 2000. Rome Douglas also participated in the NFL World Bowl in 2000 at Amsterdam.

Douglas played for St. Louis Rams in 2001 and had a stint with the Canadian Football League. He is one of the few players in US Football to have been on such a variety of professional rosters across the country and beyond. Basketball, however, could not take him too far away from his first choice of sport – football, that he continued to play.

Currently, having retired from professional football, Rome is preparing for a career in sports commentary, another new venture for this multi-faceted sportsman.

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