Professional Football St. Francis DeSales, 1990 Vanderbilt University, 1994 Memphis Xplorers, 2000
Going into my senior year at Vanderbilt, I was extremely discouraged with football due to various reasons but the biggest reason was I did not feel I belonged on the team. Then there was a basketball game between the football players and football coaches and I cannot recall who won, however I played an excellent game showcasing my athleticism that didn’t show up in a 40 yard dash or the weight room. A few weeks later, I received a call to meet with our Head Coach Gerry Dinardo to move to the tight end position. After this meeting, I was excited again about football and went into spring practice with a new mission and truly believed I would be the starting tight end in the fall. Well needless to say, I didn’t become the starting tight end, however this lesson taught me to never give up and after some years out of football. I signed a contract with the Arena Football minor league team and that showed me that I did belong in football.
--> I would encourage High School and College Athletes to earn the best grades you can. Growing up, I was encouraged to get a college degree and the rest of your life would be great. I didn't realize that even though I obtained my degree within 4 years, my GPA was not as strong as it could have been. Due to my GPA, I was not able to get high paying job offers out of school. My advice to all the athletes is to study hard and earn the best grades you can get. Trust me, I know it's hard, however if you can play football, you can get good grades. Don't give up!!!
Brian, you are a great guy! You've always been nice to others and fun to be around. I believe you've always had good intentions with everything you did back when we played and I sympathize with you as I read this story! I wish I could have been a mentor during this time in your life as you were dealing with two very big challenges: school and football! You had the unique size and skills in football to be a tight end but too bad that coaches figured that out your Senior Year! I know you did your best so that's what counts and you can feel good about that. As far as education....thanks for sharing. It's so important to not just go through the motions of getting a degree but actually focusing on school and the future that higher learning can take you. I had a similar story as well in college. Thanks for being vulnerable and wanting to share your story with others. Your living and learning the "hard way" is going to be used to encourage others! I can't wait to share! -Gary Rogers