August 5, 2009 > Former NFL player turned entrepreneur
Former NFL player turned entrepreneur
By Idorenyin Uto-Uko
Growing up in Milpitas, Dedrick Roper never dreamed he would be a football player, let alone play in the National Football League.
"I didn't want to be a professional football player. I really loved school and education," Roper said. "But, I gave it a good effort."
Roper's good effort would be considered as great to most people. The 6'4" 260-pound Roper was an All-State football player and Central Coast Section Champion while at Milpitas High. He had 13 sacks as a junior and played wide receiver, fullback and quarterback for the Trojans.
The 1999 Milpitas graduate talent would lead him to play at Michigan State for three years, and later at Northwood University (MI). It was at Northwood University, a "business school" where Roper really shined, becoming an All-American, and catching the eye of the Pittsburg Steelers in 2004.
He would play three seasons with three NFL teams(St. Louis Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles) before retiring in 2007 due to injury.
Briefly into his retirement, Roper got reconnected with his friend Ty Thompson who he met in 1994 through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.
Thompson helped Roper with his next career and current business, Current Moves. Current Moves specializes in an alternative healthier transportation, specifically in scooters, bikes and mopeds.
"I have always had a goal of owning my own business," said Roper. "But this made the most sense."
It was Thompson who got Roper thinking green. He once had a clothing business that made garments out of recycled fiber. Thompson's green vision and Rogers' football mentality has served to be an excellent business combination.
The two have opened their downtown San Jose shop in 2008 and business has been doing great. "A lot of customers are college students and anybody looking to help save the environment," stated Roper.
Most of the bikes are battery operated and require little gas to operate. The scooters don't need an additional license such as an M1 in order to ride More importantly, the California DMV does require a rider to carry insurance for the scooter, even though it is good to have.
Even though the business has only been open a year, the transition from football to business has been rather smooth.
"I think being a football player has really helped me a lot in business," said Roper. "I do not get rattled. I'm very composed."
Roper stays very active in the community by privately coaching high school players. He also has aspirations for himself as well as his business.
"I would to like use the new USFL as a way to get back in shape," Roper said. "But I would like to grow the business; move to other locations; and become involved in other green projects.
Current Moves...ride with power is located at 416 W. San Carlos Street in San Jose. For more information on Current Moves, visit www.currentmoves.com or call 408-931-6666.