I realized early at Vanderbilt that football can be the conduit that provides me with the avenues to where I want to go and what I needed in life. Football provided me with a lot in life that I didn't get from home; respect, success and failure, guidance, a strong moral background, a future not necessarily in sports but a foundation for life. I did not take my studies seriously. I wish that I would have been forced/helped to explore that more. I did love the daily competition whether it was on the field or in the weight room. It was a constant opportunity to gauge myself. Succeed or fail it was always to make me better. There is nothing else like it in life. Football taught me to be fearless. Fearless to fail, to compete and to succeed. I learned to respect my opponent but to fear no one. There were many experiences during college and NFL that taught me to cherish life; to take everything that I had and use my God given abilities to the best of my abilities. I watched teammates die, succumb to drugs and alcohol and pack up their bags and quit. Everything was a teaching moment.
Don't be satisfied with where you are today. Wake up today and thank God that he has given you the opportunity to do something that very few people get to do. Be thankful for where you are today but don't stop dreaming of what tomorrow could look like. It's the person that dares to step out of his comfort zone, the person who has the courage to be disliked because his grind looks different then others, the person who is on the narrow path, that person stands out above the others. Be a light. In times of darkness be the light that others can see and will follow. This is what will put you on the path to achieve great things in life.
Greg, thank you so much for your willingness to be transparent. I can totally understand the whole not taking studies seriously thing. I believe many of us were on that same page but you and me and others who didn't do that right are able to help the next in line who is wondering about how education and sports work together. You sound like you've experienced so many different facets of life of an athlete and I'm excited that I can share your story, advice and wisdom with others. Thanks again. -Gary Rogers