As noted in our previous #StudentAthleteStory posts, these responses are perfect to be used as a guide and reference-point for high school athletes looking to take the proper steps to prepare themselves for college life as an NCAA student-athlete.
Athletically, what was the toughest part about making the transition from senior year of high school to freshman year of college?
- I think the toughest part about making the transition from senior year of high school to freshman year of college athletically was lack of preparation. The summer before going off to college was essentially the last summer I would be at home full time. The toughest part was wanting to spend my last summer hanging out with my friends and getting a job for the first time. As a three sport athlete, I had never had a job before and the summer leading to college I was offered a job on a farm. I would work 12 hour days and try to make it to the gym after work but I was physically to tired at times. I worked for 2 months and I had stopped working just 15 days before reporting to fall camp. The 15 days wasnt enough for me, and my lack of preparation was illustrated on the field. Since my last summer before college, I have lived at my school throughout the summers working on campus, taking summer classes, having an internship and training for the upcoming season. I would recommend that athletes really take the summer before there college careers seriously in regard to training to ensure that they are prepared for college athletics and training as if there are going to play right away.
Academically, what was the toughest part about making the transition from senior year of high school to freshman year of college?
- I think the toughest part about making the transition from senior year of high school to freshman year of college academically was the struggle to develop a routine. When I first got to college, I started right away taking my core classes which I new were going to be challenging. The tough part was developing a routine to ensure that I was studying enough for a particular class and also studying for football. I found myself really utilizing a planner which helped me plan and schedule out each day according to the tasks that I had to accomplish. After the first month, I had successfully developed a routine thankfully.
How did you select your college? Were you recruited? And if so, what was the recruiting process like for you?
- I have an interesting story. I started as a freshman at quarterback in high school and started all the way up to my junior year. I had good film from my first three years of high school and was getting interests from a variety of D1 schools and D2 schools. I ended up transferring before my senior year of high school and had no scholarship offers. Things got interesting as I ended up not starting at quarterback my senior year. I played in about 5 games at quarterback and had very little film showing improvement from my junior year to senior year. Improvement from my junior year to senior year is what college coaches were interested in seeing most. The recruiting process slowed down tremendously because I did not start. Luckily, I did have a good junior tape and was offered a scholarship by on D2 school. I had the opportunity to walk on at two D1 schools but I was not sure if I wanted to take another risk after transferring before my senior year. At that point, I began to do some research in regard to a variety of D3 schools to see what options were out there. I previously did not think I would ever play D3 football. Shortly after doing some research, I found Linfield College and I learned that they were the powerhouse school on the west coast in regard to football. I called up the quarterback coach, took a visit and committed to Linfield a couple months after. I believe everything in life happens for a reason and I am happy with the decision that I made. It ultimately came down to getting a great education which Linfield has to offer, an amazing coaching staff and wanting to play at the highest level in D3 football by competing to win a national championship. I chose to not take the scholarship offer because the team that had offered me was in the middle of a coaching change and were coming back from a losing season. I wanted to play for more than
just a winning team but a team with a tradition of winning which Linfield has as we have the longest winning season record at 62 consecutive seasons, the most out of all three divisions.
What did you do to prepare yourself the summer before you went off to college for the first time?
- I did not prepare well in the summer before college. This is something I wish I would have taken a lot more seriously. Ultimately, I only gave myself 15 days to get ready to report to camp, and I was humbled very quickly when I realized I was out of shape physically and wasn’t ready in my opinion for the transition to college. I would recommend that all athletes take the time during the summer to train hard as if they are going into fall camp ready to play. Since my first summer before college, I now take advantage of summer as it is a time to really seperate myself from other athletes given time without school!
In season, what is a daily routine for you?
- Breakfast at 7:30
- Class from 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
- Lunch from 12:00 PM-12:30 PM
- Lifting from 12:30-1:30
- Practice from 2:30 PM-6:00 PM
- Dinner 6:00 PM-7:00 PM
- Study hall 7:30 PM-10:00 PM.
- Miscellaneous time 10:00 PM-11:00 PM
- Sleep 11:00 PM
What, if any, academic aide is available to you? (Do you have team tutors, mandatory study halls, etc).
- During my freshman year, we had mandatory study hall during the fall season which was 4 days a week for 2 hours and 30 mins. There are tutors available for each department on campus which I took advantage of and they helped my excel tremendously.
What tips do you have for students regarding time management?
- The biggest advise that I would give to students regarding time management is developing a
routine which will help them excel in there academic and athletic careers throughout college. If I did not have a routine, I would be struggling to be successful balancing athletics and academics.
What advice do you have for high school students looking to play a sport in college?
- When it comes to advice for high school athletes looking to play a sport in college, I think there is a lot of ways to go about answering this question. The piece of advice that sticks out to me the most from my experience has to do with deciding which school to attend. One of the main factors as to why I chose Linfield College was because of the coaching staff. During my first visit and throughout the entire recruitment process, I developed a great relationship with my current head coach and quarterback coach. I think choosing a school based on the coaching staff is just as important as choosing a school based on academics. As an athlete, I look up to my coaches and confide in them as father figures.
A huge ‘Thank You’ to Clark for his thoughtful responses! You can find him on his social media accounts -- including his excellent YouTube account -- here:
YouTube: Adventure Athlete
And remember, if you are a high school student athlete who has questions regarding the college prep or athletic recruiting process, do not hesitate to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We want to help you write your 'Student-Athlete Story'!!