It is the time of the year where there is great excitement about college football. The wild games this past weekend, such as Alabama-Auburn, have everyone fired up. I want to share the story of Trev Faulk with you. He was a star linebacker in the rugged SEC for LSU not too long ago. After that, he played in the NFL. Now head football coach at Northside High in Lafayette, Louisiana, Faulk has valuable insights for athletes and their families. I had a chance to speak with him at a combine where we were both sharing inspirational messages with the athletes.
Faulk was a six foot three inch 241 pound linebacker in the SEC that was twice 1st Team All SEC and 2nd Team All America. He was so good that he earned starting status as a true freshman just a few games into his freshman year. In the SEC, that is saying something! Character-wise, he is the only player in the history of LSU football to carry the honor of permanent Team Captain as a true sophomore. Academically, he went in with a game plan to nail his educational opportunities and not just be one of the players who barely stays eligible.
“I knew that LSU would get everything they could out of me as a football player, and I knew I was going to give them everything,” Trev told me. “I also knew I had to get things that would benefit me. I went in with a plan to try to graduate in three years. My cousin (former NFL player) Kevin Faulk graduated from LSU in 3 ½ years. I talked to some people and got an outline. I went to Summer School. I took “X” amount of Hours in the Fall and “X” amount of Hours in the Spring when it wasn’t in in the season. I took more Hours then. I balanced in electives with the tougher Business classes so it wouldn’t be too strenuous all at once.”
Faulk graduated in 3 years with Honors and a degree in Business Management. He was thinking long term. Although he was good enough and had the God given body to play in the NFL, he only played there for a few years. He actually went undrafted out of LSU, so it was a good thing he had taken his academics and getting a degree seriously. This was a player who was a semi finalist as a junior for the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker, yet he went undrafted. He had been one of the top 100 players coming out of high school, yet he was done with football well before age 30. “I was fortunate that God allowed me to be able to play as long as I did,” said Trev. He was also fortunate he had prepared himself for the next 40 years of his life by focusing on his education. This guy is sharp. In his first year as a high school head football coach he led Vermillion Catholic to a 13-0 record before losing in the state semi finals. At 31, Northside High in Louisiana hired him as their head coach. He has a bright future.
Faulk is a tremendous example of a true college student-athlete.
“Everyone wants to be successful,” Trev told me, “but few are willing to pay the price.” Not every athlete is willing to run that extra 100 in the heat, or get off Facebook or off the phone with their girlfriend and get to studying. You have to do the little things right all the time, and most importantly you have to take care of your business in the classroom. You have to give your best effort. An old coach of mine told me you are either getting better every day or getting worse.”
I asked Trev for his insights on recruiting.
“The biggest thing is to get out there,” he said. “There are so many kids that have the dream and the goal to get to the next level. Realistically, not everyone is a Division One player, but there are other levels that play as well. It is important to be honest with yourself and realistic. Research as many schools as you can and get to Camps and Combines. Ultimately, focus on your business in the classroom to make yourself more attractive to the schools.””Work. Word hard,” he said. “Just give all of yourself every day, so you don’t have any regrets about what could have been. If you hit adversity, fight back. Just fight and work for what you want.”To learn more about how to be evaluated on where you stand in the college athletics recruiting process – go hereCharlie Adams was a sports anchor for 23 years, where he saw many families struggle with the recruiting process because of a lack of education on the subject. Charlie is a supporter of NCSA’s message of Athleadership and often speaks on the recruiting process. Since 2005 he has been a motivational speaker with his keynotes and seminars often being bases on sports-related themes. Corporate leaders that bring him in as a speaker often tell him that they seek to hire former college athletes because those athletes bring the ability to manage time, lead, compete, set and reach goals, and work as team players because of their college athletics background. Charlie has written four books on peak performance and the power of attitude. For more information on his programs go to StokeTheFireWithin.com