|Maximizing my potential!|
I was a standout tailback at Gary Roosevelt High School in the mid 1980's. I finished my career as an All-Conference performer after leading the team in rushing and carries. I set the school record for the longest kick off return of 97 yards at the time. I was also the teams MVP and received the school's highest football award called the Leonard B. Douglas Trophy. Named after one of the legendary coach at the "Velt" as it was so affectionately called.
Keep in mind that the "Velt" was one of the best athletic powerhouses in the country at the time that produced several professional athletes across several sports. It also produced countless division 1 athletes in all sports as well including my older brothers. I say that to make a point that if I was good enough to be one of the best during my time at the "Velt" the sport must have chosen me, right?
Well... not exactly. What I didn't tell you is that I only stood 5'7" and weighed only 140lbs soaking wet and ran a 4.59 forty yard dash as a senior. More importantly, I was born with only one full arm. I was only recruited to play at Butler University even though I was one of the best in a city that probably had more talent than anywhere else in the state. I didn't want to go to a small school because I had too much talent to play with guys that, in my opinion, couldn't play. So I walked on at Purdue.
I learned real fast what, "You don't choose the sport, the sports chooses you" meant. Even though I was talented I didn't have the genetics that the other guys had. It comes down to being born with something that not everybody gets, size, speed and athleticism. Those things can't be taught or coached. Guys were running 4.3's that were 4 to 6 inches taller and 40 to 60 lbs bigger than I was with 39 inch verticals at the same position and that just blew my mind. The first time I ran the ball in a scrimmage a linebacker ran me down before I could turn the corner and he was 100 pounds bigger than I was.
They weren't diagnosing concussions back then but I'm quite sure I’ve had several looking back on it. If you got blown up the coaches would say, "you just got your bell rung, you'll be alright". It was at those moments that I fully understood what that phrase meant.
Of course, I could've gone to Butler but I've always believed that if you're not competing at the highest level that it's a complete waste of time. I learned in the spring of 1987 that I needed to find something else to do. It was difficult to come to grips with but it was necessary. I wasn't going to stand around on the sideline just to say that I was on the team. So I transferred to Indiana University and used the lessons that football taught me to become a student leader including becoming the President of the Epsilon Iota Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
|Beating the odds!|
He made me just the way he envisioned me to be. It was up to me to see what he saw in me and I had to learn how to appreciate it. Everybody's got something wrong with them. Many were raised without fathers, others may suffer from mental disorders or have visual impairments, you name it. God has a tendency of using flawed people. Moses was an inarticulate murderer and Noah was a highly intelligent alcoholic. Whatever it is, you've got to over come it. So embrace the philosophy of "you don't choose the sport, the sport chooses you" and then find out what actually chose you and do it. Then I guarantee that you'll find success!
Holla At Ya Boy!
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