This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with my son. I came to Philadelphia this weekend to watch him perform in the NFL combine in Baltimore. Being in the NFL as a running back / fullback has been his life long dream…and passion.
I have know this to be his passion for quite some time. When he was younger and playing in the Philadelphia Pop Warner I began to see it. When he transitioned to playing high school football at Northeast High School (my alma mater) I saw further evolution and the adoption of his football nickname “Big Country.” During those years has had some great achievements, became a “go to” guy for the team and in his senior year they nearly made the Philadelphia high school championship. However, as his senior year wrapped up, none of the colleges he wanted to play for pursued him, which was very disheartening. So, we took to action, sending footage to different schools and when that didn’t work out, he suited up in his Sunday’s best and we took an unscheduled trip to Delaware State University, walked in, asked for the recruiting coach and showed him James’ film. His response “I think we have a place for you on our team.” After playing a few yeras at Delaware State and continuing to evolve, there was a big change in the coaching staff, with him being underutilized. However, James pressed on, left the team and transitioned to West Chester University. In his senior year he tore his ACL and missed most of the year. For many football players that would end of a career, but James pressed on.
So now, here we are. He again is not being pursued, but the league where his passion can be fulfilled in the most real way. Most would have walked away several incidents ago – – not being pursued by a college, being underutilized by his college team, tearing his ACL and now not being pursued by a NFL team or agent. Hoever, this is his passion….fuel that doesn’t run out, the tank is always full. His passion cannot be quenched, nor diminished – – – I can feel it when I look in his eyes, I can hear it in his words and I can see it in his actions. in each of those situations, he took the lumps and looked forward. He trained harder, became a better student of the game and pressed on.
Man is only great when he acts from passion.
– Benjamin Disraeli
Today as he works out at the NFL combine his heart is set, his mind is focused and his passion will propel him forward. I’m a proud and blessed father. Amen!