The Road Less Traveled

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Isreal wants to play football. Always has. Since he was in second grade and his teacher did a "when I grow up" project, he set his sights on pro football.

Every time we go for his check up, the doctor asks what's the plan when you grow up, football was always the answer. His doctor would say what's plan B, because you know, the odds are 1 in a million that go to the NFL. Isreal would say, there is no plan B. I will be that 1.

As much as I loved his confidence at 10, I was mostly like the doctor and telling him to focus on school and pick something else besides football.

Well,I am kind of glad he didn't listen to me. That whole football thing is going to pay for college.

With that, the most frequently asked question is where?! I get asked everyday,he gets asked multiple times a day.

Here's the thing. His ultimate goal is the NFL. I am going to do what's in my power to help him get there. This includes the possibility of taking a road less traveled.

It is so exciting to go on Division 1 college trips. To stand on the field, to meet coaches,some of them legendary and see boys who look like him live out their dreams.
On the other side of that excitement is real life.
Since there isn't a ton of self awareness when you're 17, my job as Mom is to help guide him.

 

I know my kid and he is motivated by being in the field. He needs to play. To be honest, I am not really sure he would've given a damn about his high school grades if it didn't affect his eligibility. That helped him stay on track and he is currently only needing 2 1/2credits to graduate. College will be no different. He will need to go somewhere he can play. Yes,there will be some paying dues and earning his spot, but being on the field will be the thing that keeps him in college. From some candid conversations with several coaches,we know that likely he will be a red shirt as freshman if he goes to a D1. That means, he practices, he's part of the "scout" team,but he won't play. That puts him in the program, allows him to get bigger, faster, stronger without taking a year if his eligibility.

For Isreal specifically, that's not good enough. He wants to play. For that reason, he has not ruled out a D2, D3, NAIA or community college. They are all very real possibilities.

I've been around football players for a very long time and I can't tell you how stories there are of boys who are excited about their "D1 offer" and go to school, get red shirted and sit. They either get discouraged from sitting behind another player, fall behind academically  drop out and lose their scholarship.

This time of his life is exciting and the time where he can literally pick. With that, he needs a voice of reason (that'd be me) that reminds him that when he does finish playing football,that something needs to come next. College is where you lay the foundation for that.

He is on the road to the NFL and college is a stepping stone. His road may be less traveled,but I have full confidence that he will get there. 

Mikita Burton