This time of year is an exciting time for football players in general. Training camps are over and the season’s about to start. For young football players it’s filled with anxiety. The last week of preseason there will be about 25 players released from each team. Some may find their way onto practice squads and other may be forced to give up their dream of playing pro football.
Other young football players are anxious for another reason…the college football season is about to start. At that level there is not preseason. The first real test for a college football program counts in the standings. Some programs you can always expect to see great things. Others make major changes in the hopes of restoring school pride.
You know where I’m going…..Syracuse University is one of those programs. With a new head coach in Doug Marrone and a new QB in Greg Paulus there is a lot to be excited about. Paulus is a grad student who lettered as a basketball player at Duke. He’s smart and has a proven track record as a leader. I’m a firm believer that basketball skill helps in football and vice versa so I’m excited about what he can bring to the Orange. This week they start the season vs. Minnesota. I don’t know much about the Gophers but starting off against a Big 10 school won’t be easy. Let’s get it started the right way….Go Orange!
Another group of young football players who are excited about the calendar turning to September are the high school kids. I met one the other night following the Jaguars preseason game. Tamaric Richardson is an OL/DL who plays for Simon Gratz, although he attends Engineering & Science for his classes. He was the first recipient of my ticket giveaway this year. Brian Dawkins initiated the program last year and I thought it was too good to end. Philadelphia area coaches nominate their best players in terms of their work in the classroom and on the field and their character as well. It was nice to met Tamaric and his mom following the game.