Monday, February 20, 2012

Spring Ball

     My last spring ball is upon me... I want to make a real impact this year.  Not because this is my last year, but because I have been unsatisfied with my performance so far.  In my first three years as a starter I have been consistent in making plays, but have failed to be a game changer.  I have had one interception, couple of forced fumbles, some big hits, and a ton of tackles.  That does not meet my expectations and goals that I have for myself.  Ever since the coaching changes, I have been playing too robotic and thinking too much about scheme while on the field.  With the simplified defense I am hoping to get back to reacting on the field instead of thinking, for this is when you play your best.

     These are my expectations for this year... I am going to be a ball hawk looking to make the big plays: interceptions, forced fumbles and big hits.  I am going to strike fear in the opponent by my physical play and determination.  John Lovett says he wants the opponent to say, "Coach they are not tackling us, they are trying to kill us!"  Also, I will continue to be a technician at knowing the defense and commanding the calls and checks in coverage.  My expectations for myself have always been the higher than even my biggest critic.  I look forward to reaching my potential and redeeming the defense for the past two years.  As I begin spring ball and try to earn my spot and impress new coaches, I will keep my sight on my goals and work towards perfection.

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” -Vince Lombardi

-Student of the Game

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Season, New Coaches

     After a disappointing season, I am going to have to learn a new defense. My fourth defense in four years! This is how it happened... My first year with Texas Tech I red-shirted  so I was on scout team.  This was like having a new defense every week because we had to duplicate the opponent.  We had separate scout team meetings away from defensive meetings so i didn't learn the actual defense. The next year I earned my spot as a starter. With Ruffin McNeil as the DC and Carlos Mainord as the safeties coach, we ran the 4-3 defense. It was simple and easy to pick up. Then the whole Leach thing happened (wont go into that now) right before the Alamo bowl. The next year we got a whole new staff with Tuberville at the helm.  James Willis was my new DC and Travaris Robinson was the defensive backs coach. We had the 3-4 defense and the scheme was extremely complicated and hard to pick up. We made it to the Ticketcity Bowl and again we had a coaching problem before the bowl game! Willis had gotten in trouble and we had to play without a DC. When spring came around the DC and the DBs coach had both taken other jobs. Next, Chad Glascow was hired as the new DC and safeties coach. The 4-2-5 was our new defense and it was a little more simplified than the last.  However, perfection was demanded and our played showed that we were too worried to mess up. This time we did not make a bowl game and the DC again left the program.  This is where I am today...

     Art Kaufman is now the defensive coordinator and the defensive back coach is John Lovett.  Ironically we are back to the 4-3 defense where it all started.  So far the defense seems simple and I am impressed with the knowledge and experience of my new coaches.  Many people always ask me how I deal with all of the changes and the answer never changes.  I only focus on what I can control, so I don't focus on what has happened or why.  I only know what is now ahead of me and the work I have to put in to be successful.  Every year I go out with the mentality of winning my job and being better than the day before.  You can never guess what is going to happen to you or the cards you will be dealt, how you REACT is the legacy you will leave behind.  If you focus on the "WHYs" past, you are wasting time preparing for the future... I will continue to look ahead and work towards a better tomorrow.  I have been through a lot of changes and experiences but I still have a lot to learn... I'm just a Student of the Game.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2012... The Year of Change

     2012...The year of change. Since the very beginning my life there has always been a plan and a schedule. When you are a kid up until you leave for college you live according to your parents.  My parents raised me in a fairly strict household and set a lot of expectations for me. I was to achieve highly in school and sports, do what is right, and go to college and get a degree. These expectations led me to where i am today and i thank my parents for setting this path for me.  I couldn't have done it without them!

     However, now its 2012 and I am about to get into the real world! I just recently got engaged to my beautiful fiancee Ashley Reeves! She is going to graduate in May and look for a job. Maybe move away from me! We plan on getting married April 2013. I also recently graduated with my bachelors and started grad school. I am coming up on my last year of football. Ahead of me is a time where i go from strict schedule to truly on my own. I am coming to the end of my planned path and about to have to carve my own way. By the end of this year I will be done with college football, finishing up grad school, and finding a job. This is both scary and exciting! Scared of the unknown and thought of failure, but excited for the opportunity to excel and make a name for myself. I have been extremely blessed to have been taught by my parents, brother, coaches, and friends how to succeed. I will put this same hard work and dedication into the upcoming year and know i will be successful at whatever i end up doing. I don't know what will happen next...

I'm just a Student of the Game.