It was like Christmas came twice. In 2017, Jonathan Allen — expected to be a top-10, or even top-5 pick — fell all the way to 17. A year later, Derrius Guice — considered to be perhaps the 2nd best running back in the draft behind Saquon Barkley — was still available after the Redskins had traded down in the second round, picking up an extra third round pick along the way.
Then, over the next few months, Derrius Guice did everything possible to make himself the most popular player on the Redskins team.
He came to DC and hit the streets like a tourist, taking pictures and posting on Twitter and Instagram as he went.
Click here to read Skins Stats: The 100 Stat Salute to Derrius Guice by James Dorsett
Guice was at the Capitals games sitting with the rest of the fans, celebrating DC success in sports.
He was at the basketball game, posing for pictures with his growing cadre of fans.
A fan of video games, especially Fortnite, Guice was routinely playing the game and involving his (mostly younger) fans in the fun.
Then he took it out of cyberspace and into “real life”. One day, Derrius Guice sent a Tweet out saying that he wanted to go bowling and asking if anyone wanted to join him. He announced the location he was going to, and then showed up. Again, he welcomed fans like old friends, posed for pictures, signed autographs and quite genuinely ingratiated himself with the fans.
Pretty soon, bowling became as much a part of the evolving Derrius Guice brand as video games.
Through it all, Guice appeared to be genuine, happy, and enjoying it all. He had an ever-present smile and a level of charisma that simply broke any meter ever devised by man. Guice wasn’t just a football star; he was a man of the people, and the people were growing to love him.
In off-season workouts and training camp, Guice continued to be a favorite with Redskins fans (and those from LSU), often staying on the field interacting with kids and adults alike after most other players were already showering and changing clothes. His patience seemed infinite.
His official stat line for the day says he got 19 yards on 6 carries, but his 7th carry was a 34-yard run that was negated by a holding penalty. The play ended with Guice writhing in pain on the field. He had torn his ACL and his rookie season was over.
Guice’s reaction to the news?
God never makes mistakes— 2️⃣9️⃣ (@DhaSickest) August 10, 2018
Derrius Guice was out of the spotlight for a while. We found out later — after it became known that Alex Smith had suffered a complicating infection following his injury — that the same thing had happened to Derrius Guice, and that he had stayed with is family in Louisiana as he fought to recover.
But the electric smile has never wavered, and Derrius Guice has continued to enrich both his home state of Louisiana, and his newly adopted home in the DC area.
When he's not busy playing #Fortnite, Derrius Guice (@DhaSickest) is busy rehabbing his knee, and being an awesome dude off the field #Redskins #HTTR @Asante_McNeill @DarrenMHaynes @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/lCYlkkwMUW— WUSA9 Sports (@WUSA9sports) September 20, 2018
Some motivation for today!! Please read pic.twitter.com/deSMDL2Bsw— 2️⃣9️⃣ (@DhaSickest) September 20, 2018
Derrius Guice gave a 22-year-old college student and Domino's delivery man the biggest tip he's ever gotten on Wednesday night. Then he called on others to "impact someone's life ... in any way possible" https://t.co/idxNWTo1Uo— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) September 21, 2018
When you come back and see your running backs showing out...— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) September 23, 2018
Baton Rouge Boys ✊ pic.twitter.com/2noYgTLDyZ
"You have to love the process. This teaches you patience, and how to appreciate the little things a lot more"@DhaSickest shares his first Derrius Diary--recapping his experience with rehab so far and opening up about what life is like post-injury.— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) September 29, 2018
: https://t.co/QjODsbfKok pic.twitter.com/PvRNwpQwC4
Don’t you wish things just worked out as you pictured pic.twitter.com/K97VKLJLLC— 2️⃣9️⃣ (@DhaSickest) November 6, 2018
At the gas station, This guy asked @DhaSickest for some change and D told him No bkuz he was wearing an Alabama hoodie lol he just sat there quietly, and after the gas finished pumping, he called him over and blessed him with $100.00 bill. pic.twitter.com/Cj7Xfhb1FK— Boog (@Hboog32) November 17, 2018
Being broke and poor pushed me... only a fool can sit broke and not have a plan to change that https://t.co/1p1MqJOshs— 2️⃣9️⃣ (@DhaSickest) November 17, 2018
It's Dallas Week. It's Turkey Day.— NBC Sports Redskins (@NBCSRedskins) November 22, 2018
It's Derrius Guice here to get you ready pic.twitter.com/dq84Hd9Hwe
And yes my legs are still small because ion know. Maybe I tore my knee up a few months ago.. won’t be big over night— 2️⃣9️⃣ (@DhaSickest) December 6, 2018
Thank you to @Redskins RB @DhaSickest for sharing his excitement and advice about this #Footvall off-season at #TheStJanes! We look forward to seeing you next time and have a great season! pic.twitter.com/YgysiHOWOs— The St. James (@TheStJames_) December 9, 2018
He didn’t even talk, but seeing his face after receiving his gifts said enough ❤️ pic.twitter.com/biOSKsWxpN— 2️⃣9️⃣ (@DhaSickest) December 20, 2018
@DhaSickest You and the other Coaches with @ESMcamps did an amazing job today. Thanks for all the attention and excitement you brought for the kids. Lots of smiling faces ❤️ pic.twitter.com/UUFQebj0xi— Sara J. Williams (@SaraLadytiger) January 6, 2019
Grandson still talks about this day.. he's going to look back at this photo one day and he will realize his Papa took him to meet a legend. Put that work in brother. HTTR pic.twitter.com/YserkCbISD— mike (@slammersbasebal) January 3, 2019
There’s something to look forward to in 2019 Redskins fans: Derrius Guice 2.0.
We’ve got a talented running back with a radiant smile who runs over the opposition on the football field.
Our guy is a man of the people with charisma to burn.
Training camp with Guice should be high-voltage.
A season with Derrius carrying the ball behind (hopefully) a healthy and reinforced offensive line should add a dimension to the offense that will give us all a reason to be excited.