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Long before he was “The Rock” in WWE or the world’s biggest movie star, Dwayne Johnson had dreams of playing professional football. A national championship-winning defensive tackle at the University of Miami in the early 1990s, Johnson was a talented player but a string of injuries cost him a real shot at the NFL, at which point he attempted to achieve his dream in Canada.

Unfortunately, that didn’t work out either and Dwayne Johnson had no clue what to do. It was at this point that seven dollars changed the course of his life forever.

Dwayne Johnson was a solid player for the University of Miami

Highly recruited out of high school, Dwayne Johnson enrolled at the University of Miami in 1991 and promptly helped the Hurricanes to a national championship. Johnson certainly wasn’t the best player on the team but he worked hard throughout his career. Unfortunately for Johnson, Warren Sapp came along right behind him and became one of the best players in college football history.

In four years with the ‘Canes, Dwayne Johnson amassed 77 tackles and 4.25 sacks. Injuries dashed his hopes of making it to the NFL but he remained adamant that he would play professional football and took his talents to Canada.

How seven dollars changed Dwayne Johnson’s life

After graduating from Miami in 1995, Dwayne Johnson signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. He had realized his dream but just two days after playing his first pro game, he was cut, bringing an end to his football career. Meanwhile, Warren Sapp, the man who’d essentially taken his spot at Miami, had left the Hurricanes following his junior year and was taken in the first round of the 1995 NFL draft, signing a big contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But there was no big contract coming for Dwayne Johnson. He had seven dollars to his name and was depressed as could be. But the man who would soon become “The Rock” had an epiphany and got back to work. In a past Instagram video, Johnson explained how the “seven dollar moment” changed his life forever. (h/t Inc.)

“You gotta have faith that the one thing you wanted to happen oftentimes is the best thing that never happened.

“The world was going to hear from me. I didn’t know how and when, but I started training again.”

Dwayne Johnson

Only this time, Dwayne Johnson wasn’t training for a football career. He was training for the career that made him a worldwide phenomenon.

‘The Rock’ became one of the biggest stars in the entire world

'The Rock' Dwayne Johnson
‘The Rock’ Dwayne Johnson | Steve Dietl/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The Washington Redskins Were Once Interested in Andre the Giant as a Defensive Lineman

Just over a year after being cut from the Stampeders, Dwayne Johnson debuted in WWE as Rocky Maivia, combining the names of his father and grandfather, Rocky Johnson and Peter Maivia, both of whom had been stars in the wrestling business.

A year later, he simply became “The Rock” and his life was never the same. He became one of the biggest stars in WWE history and then went on to become the biggest movie star in the world. Today, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is worth $320 million, a little more than the seven bucks he was worth 25 years ago. It’s amazing what a little hard work and perseverance can do, isn’t it?