Ever since I was a kid I dreamed of being a division 1 athlete. Growing up I was always involved with sports from baseball, to wrestling, to basketball, to eventually the sport that stuck with me in football. I started seeing my potential in football in 7th grade where I began to excel in my 7th and 8th grade years as a quarterback for the silk city cardinals. I then chose to attend one of New Jersey’s powerhouses for football in Paramus Catholic.
Early on my freshman year I started seeing college interests flowing in, which at the time I was too young to realize how big of a deal this actually was. As my freshman and sophomore years passed at Paramus Catholic I was left with 20+ scholarship offers ranging from Rutgers to Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson tide. I then had to make a very important decision in my career by transferring to the Peddie school. This was not an easy time for me with the transition and all of switching schools and my whole life changing.
As a junior at the Peddie school there were very high expectations for me being one of the most highest recruited and touted players to ever step foot on the Peddie campus. Unfortunately, my year got cut short though due to a season ending injury when I broke my collar bone early on in the third game of the season. This was heartbreaking and at the same time life changing. Things for a while went downhill for me. With football being taken away from me, the one thing my life revolves around things got hard for me not being able to be out there with my teammates every Saturday trying to reach our goal of a championship. Things took a turn for the worst as my grades plummeted and I wasn’t focused on my ultimate goal I’ve had since day one, being the best all-around football player and person I can be. But this is where Peddie changed my life. For those who don’t know about the Peddie school, it is one of the top academic institutions in the country. They also have a very active and helpful alumni association that could lead to big opportunities down the road. Realizing this I know a change had to be made and I had to regain my focus on my ultimate goal. I could not let my derail all the work I had put in over the years.
Then, it finally clicked. I realized the opportunity I was blessed with at the Peddie school needed to be taken advantage of. I started focusing mainly on my grades, training, and making a college decision. With all that Peddie offered it made me realize that I had to take a different approach to my college decision. I wanted to go somewhere that could set me up for life regardless of football. Being injured and missing almost my entire junior season I realized football can come to an end at any point and you cannot put all your eggs in one basket with football. At first, the colleges that stood out to me were powerhouses such as Alabama, Ole Miss, Michigan, Florida, and many other known college football powerhouses. As I matured and started to realize what this business was like, I knew I had to make a decision that was more than just football. Even though Alabama, and schools like that seemed like the best choice for me in terms of football success and the hype around the programs it came to my realization that more than that had to go into a decision. With college football being a 24/7 365 days a year job it is a lot of work and you want to go somewhere where you have a chance to make an impact and change. Also with the physicality that comes with football it can end at any time for you, so you will always need something to fall back on regardless of if football takes you to the highest level or not. For these reasons I came across Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt hasn’t been the Alabama of college football in the most recent years, but it is in the same category as the Harvard's and Stanford’s in terms of academics. With the great academics also comes a great culture and atmosphere, Vanderbilt being in Nashville, Tennessee and the SEC presents many opportunities to build character, a very successful football program, and very successful academic resume. I ended up choosing Vanderbilt and as of recent signing with them for these reasons. With all of the hype surrounding Nashville and amazing things the university offers I felt that if Vanderbilt can make a splash in recruiting and get motivated talent players to Nashville, it would help us compete in the SEC, with the Alabama’s, Auburn’s, and Georgia’s. I wanted to help get that ball rolling.
Vanderbilt offers a great city, the SEC, great football, and a great degree. Who wouldn’t be attracted to that? We just finished the early signing period and have signed by far the best class to ever be signed under Vanderbilt football. With that vision I had in December of 2016 when I committed, it came to fruition and now we will all be there in either January or June with the same vision and goal to get a huge supporting cast behind Vanderbilt football and change the culture of the program. I am extremely happy with my decision and know that is going to be a lot of work and by no means will be easy but have a strong feeling I can go in there and bring Vanderbilt to the top of the SEC along with the other talent we have brought in this class.
Throughout the recruiting process I have learned that this whole thing is a business and smart decisions need to be made. I am looking forward to beginning the next chapter in my life at Vanderbilt University. I finished the first semester this year with my highest GPA yet with a 3.6. In football we finished as MAPL champions and I earned offensive player of the year honors for the state of New Jersey, all Prep leagues, and also the MAPL. This journey has taught me a lot. Making the move to Peddie my junior year changed my life in many aspects, especially to mature as a man, and a student. It has given me many opportunities I could not have dreamed of. I know I made the right decision in choosing Vanderbilt to pursue my academic and athletic career and am very excited and eager to get to work and see what the future holds.