I learned early in my academic career to take pride in my work and to be proud when showing it to my family and friends. I went to a Waldorf School for most of my elementary school years and learned the importance of education and how to enjoy learning, including the feeling of accomplishment you get when you put in your best effort. This experience in my life has shaped me into a very strong academic student who loves learning and challenging myself. Adding to this, my parents have been very influential in my life. Every day they set an example of what can be done with hard work and dedication. Collectively, they have supported me and granted me the courage to believe in myself and my dreams to play college football. I remember football being a part of my life since I was four. My father and I would play pass in the backyard for hours. He even brought, Warren Price, quarterback of Virginia Tech (1960-1961) over one day to show me how to throw a football properly. Sunday’s have been spent as a family in front of the TV watching football for as long as I can remember.
As I grew and became more aware of the sport and what it entailed, I started to realize how much I enjoyed competition. The sport has also made me aware of some of my own character traits I didn’t realize I possessed. In the beginning of my high school football career, I was bullied by many of the older seniors. I wasn’t bigger than any of them but I was fast and worked harder than all of them. My way of getting back at them was making sure I beat them all during the sprints at the end of practice. They would call me a “try hard” and a “practice hero”. As a result of me winning most of the sprints, our coach would make the whole team run extra until one of the seniors beat me. Although this resulted in me getting blindsided or hit after the whistle more during practice, I never gave up and it only fueled me to work harder. My freshman year was the year that really showed me how determined and focused I was when I set my mind to achieving something. Football that year helped me become aware of how much I love proving people wrong. No one thought that I would be good at football in my freshman year but I told myself that I would make a difference in our program and so I trained, both in the gym and with my nutrition, during the off season doing everything I could to transform myself into the player I am today. If there is one thing football has taught me, it is that goals are only achieved through hard work, faith, and dedication. These and many other combined experiences during football have created my desire to play in college, while at the same time pursuing my academic future.