Richard Collier Shares Story With Other Crime Victims

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a period of seclusion, Richard Collier has re-emerged recently. The former Jaguars offensive lineman spoke on Monday at an annual event for crime victims and their families.

Last year, Collier was shot 14 times. He lost his leg and is paralyzed from the waist down. Monday was the second time he's spoken publicly in the past week.

There was a time during his football career when Collier would shy away from the spotlight. However, seven months after becoming the victim of a violent crime, he has shown himself as a different person.

Collier now embraces his new career as a public speaker.

"It's very therapeutic. I like going, and I like being in front of the camera now. I didn?t like it at first, but it's alright now," Collier said.

At 6-feet 7-inches tall Collier was a giant who used to have to look down at most people when he spoke. Now, he looks up to deliver his message of hope to others. He's finding peace as an inspirational speaker.

Last week, he addressed a group of blood donors saying he would not be alive if it weren't for their generosity.

On Monday, he spoke a charity golf tournament that supports crime victims.

"I feel obligated. As a person who survived a crime, I feel like it's my duty now to speak out about how God has kept me alive and I know that that's the reason I am alive to carry on and go out and speak about these things," Collier said.

The golf tournament was dedicated to John Rowan -- a Jacksonville businessman who has been missing for eight years.

Rowan's disappearance remains a mystery, and police believe he was killed. Collier said he wanted to deliver a message of hope for the Rowan family.

"I knew he was coming, but I really was overwhelmed when I saw him in the wheelchair today," said John Rowan's mother, Peg Rowan. "I think it's marvelous of him to come, and I feel so sorry for what happened to him. I just wondered if John was looking down because John was a great Jaguars fan."

Collier said inspirational speaking is his future and to what he looks forward. His new role in front of a microphone is slowing making him stronger both physically and spiritually.