You Thought You Loved Football then They Gave You A Scholarship

By: Chad Wilson – Editor GridironStuds Blog
Follow Me on Twitter: @GridironStuds

Remember how much you loved football.? It was football this and football that in high school especially when you were supposed to be busy doing something else. Back in those high school days there were a lot of other things you had to do in your day to day lives that kept you away from the game and made you even more hungry for the pigskin.  They do say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Your every thought was getting a college football scholarship or what you were going to do when you landed at the school of your choice.  Then one day you became a college football player.

This is the mindset of 100’s even thousands of high school football players across the country right now.  Many of them eager to take that next step in life.  For all,  they have no idea what they are stepping into,  for many it will be too much to handle.  Remember that absence and fonder stuff in the first paragraph?  There will be no absence and fonder will be a distant reality for many high school football players.

Upon a college football player’s arrival on campus,  they will find out a number of things,  much to their chagrin. First,  that laid back atmosphere that you thought college was,  that’s for other students,  not you the college football student.  You thought leaving mom and dad’s house would bring you freedom,  you were wrong.  You were just sold to another keeper.  This keeper is often meaner,  more demanding and more present.  Your day is planned from 6 A.M. to 9 P.M.   Remember when the school bell rang at 8 AM?  Well those days are gone.  Remember how you couldn’t wait till football activities at 4 PM in the afternoon.  You don’t have to wait,  it’s in your face at 6 AM.  Workouts and meetings bright and early in the morning.  Then you hustle to a meal before you hustle to class.  The hustle to class turns into a hustle to lunch in the early afternoon which exits to a hustle to guess what,  another round of football meetings.  This would be all good perhaps if you were a starter but you are third string and a back up on special teams.  You want to fall asleep in that meeting but tobacco juice on your face from a screaming coach is not a good look.

Remember all those cool talks you had with Coach Coolio?  Somehow they turned into “your mom gave birth to a %$# 18 years ago” and “we’ll put your $#@# on a Greyhound back home boy!”  What happened to the guy that recruited me?  Oh he’s recruiting someone else right after he MF’s me on this practice field today. That individual period that was 10 minutes in high school practice is now 20-25 minutes and there’s no walking.  Practice is fast paced and filled with the same drills, day after day after day.  You thought you were a college football player and then you saw a muscle bound,  fast running redshirt junior playing your position that has not played a snap yet in his college career.  You start to wonder if you are good enough to play.  You start to wonder if you even like football.  My coach doesn’t make it fun,  watching from the sidelines isn’t fun and practicing day after day without a moment to come for air is not what I expected.

For some,  what I just explained above is the path they are willing to travel to reach their goal.  For many more it’s a grind that they thought they wanted but find out this whole college football thing is not what it’s cracked up to be.  You thought you wanted to be an Ohio St. Buckeye but realize that you would have been in over your head if you had gone there. You can’t even handle things at Northwest Middle State A&M.

It’s hard to know what you’re getting into until you actually get into it but for high school football players,  it would save you a lot of time, money and headache if you would take an honest assessment of where you are now as a high school football player,  compare what current college football players are and ask yourself can you fit into that.  Ask yourself that question once, twice and a couple of dozen times.  Hundreds of college freshman are battling the feeling right now of either wanting to transfer or quit.  Many will follow through on those feelings.  Many could have avoided all of this if they took an honest assessment of themselves while in high school.  Determine if college football really is for you and then determine what level of college football best fits you.  Don’t base your decision on your friends, peers or even rivals on the high school football field.  College football IS NOT high school football.  Let me say it again,  high school football IS NOT college football.  Let that marinate.


10 thoughts on “You Thought You Loved Football then They Gave You A Scholarship

  1. Excellent article. It helps explain why so many guys who were football-crazy in high school end up quitting the game before their college playing eligibility is used up. Perhaps if they had more realistic expectations going into college ball, some would avoid embarking on a course that they are doomed to fail at or abandon, and others would avoid falling into disillusionment which can lead to quitting the sport prematurely, which (if you ever loved the game or had pride in being a winner instead of a quitter) ultimately leads to decades of regret.

  2. You’re getting free school, so they demand perfection out of you. It’s not like you’re an indentured servant. You still have the choice not to play if it’s too much for you. There are people that would kill to be in your shoes.

  3. Wow sounds like the writer of this article is a self absorbent wussy. Yes it is demanding, but completely worth it. Reads like this site is set up to give quitters an excuse to not play. High school football is not laid back, at least where I played.
    College football is demanding but it was worth every minute . If you can’t organize your time, then you will fail. However, it is exactly the same in the “real world.” So do not let this writer influence your choice unless you are a self absorbent little Wuss looking for a way out and to justify you quitting. Just remember you are quitting because you can’t take the pressure . If you can’t take the pressure of college football, then the bad news is you really can’t take the pressure of the real world either. This article is nothing but a call to all quitters.

  4. @Lamik I dont think you paid attention to the article. These athletes is not getting a free education, they are working for there education.

  5. @bucknasty – true, but where else does an 18 year old get a contract for 4 years paid $60k/year AND a credential and network that will bending them for a lifetime. Especially 90% of the players that will be lucky to make $40k/year. If they don’t like the deal, they can choose another path.

  6. @Wilson I understand your point, but the same can be said for students who receive academic scholarships, all they have to do is show up to class and maintain their GPA. The money these student athletes bring in to schools they are worth 60k a year

  7. @lamik I played D1 football for a short period of time. I wasn’t on scholarship even though I had D1 offers but chose to walk on at a school I wanted to go to my whole life. You can say “people would kill to be in your shoes” until you do it yourself. It is the hardest thing I had ever done in my life as an 18 year old. Wake up at 5am, workout/run your face off at 530am. Eat breakfast/shower, classes start at 8am. Classes have to be over by 3pm, 330-430pm meeting, practice 430-730pm, meeting 8pm-930pm. Back in dorm by 10pm and do it again the next day. When was classwork supposed to be done? I still haven’t figured out how any of my teammates got anything done in the classroom. The 20 hour contact rule wasn’t policed. There are adults who don’t work 15 hrs a day but an 18 year old is expected to do it fresh out of high school where they may have “worked” a part time job at McDonald’s for an actual 20 hrs a week for a measly “scholarship”.

    Also, “free school”? Really? How is it free? This kids work more than you do. Go to an in-state D1 football program on scholarship you may be getting an education that would cost someone else roughly $35,000 total (w/o financial aid)… not per year… TOTAL. Is $7,000 a year worth the millions generated by a program? No, not even close

    Please don’t speak of things you know nothing about. Also, D2/D3/NAIA is NOT comparable as the meeting time is not the same because they don’t generate the revenue D1 does.

  8. @Mike Where did you play D1 football?

  9. I learned that lesson flat on my back from an all American running back. After I got my breath coach said “son you OK” I said “I’m.not sure ” he then said “well get off my field while you figure it out”. Haha. I quit a few days later. I just wasn’t good enough to stay.

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