“Sorry David, it’s broken.”
It had to be a nightmare, right? It couldn’t be happening again. There’s no way. I had a metal rod in my arm. I had to get back to my teammates and brothers. I had to get back on the field.
That’s how my career at Richmond came to an end. It was another broken bone in my arm, the same arm that I had worked to get back to full strength after last year’s injury.
People told me how you would come back stronger than ever before. You’ll be good, but here I was, in an X-ray room in Albany, N.Y., learning that there was a break in the bone just above the metal rod that ended my senior season much earlier than I ever wanted it to end.
After sitting in shock for what seemed like an eternity, I knew I had to call my parents. Mom answered the phone. I knew I couldn’t stay on the phone long or else I would lose it. It was a brief phone call, but I made it through without breaking down.
Next on my mind was getting back to the sidelines to be with my brothers. I walked back with my left arm in a sling, but I got to see them fight and claw their way to a win in triple overtime.
I’ve heard Coach Rocco talk about this team’s will to win. I’ve never been around a group that wants it more than this group of guys…a group who straps up every day, wanting to go to battle for each and every single guy in that locker room. That’s why this team is special.
The postgame celebration moved to the locker room, and Coach Rocco began his speech to the team. He spoke about being warriors and mentioned my name, and that was it.
As I sat in the locker room with 70 guys who have become my family over the past four years, I let my emotions pour out. I lost it. With tears streaming down my face, I thought about all the blood, sweat and tears that went into my time as a Richmond Spider.
This place, this program will always be special to me.
I learned how to be a man here. I learned how to push myself beyond the limits that I thought confined me. I became not only the player I am today, but I became the person I am today because of my time at this University and my time with this program.
Growing up in Florida, I didn’t know a ton about the University of Richmond. As kids, we dreamed of playing for Florida or Florida State or Alabama. However, looking back there’s no place I’d rather have spent the past four years than here at Richmond.
Because of my time here, I am looking forward to an opportunity to play in the NFL, a dream I’ve had since I was throwing a football in the backyard. I know that whenever my time on the football field is done, I’ll have an education that has set me up to succeed in the business world, wherever that may be.
I may not put on the pads and that Richmond uniform anymore, but I can promise you one thing, I will give everything I have to help lead this team from the sidelines.
You know why? Because that’s exactly what every single guy in the locker room would do if it were them. We are a family.
What’s next for me? I don’t know. Only God knows that. I was lucky to have an incredible supportive foundation around me, beginning with my parents, who as much as I didn’t want to at times, they dragged me to church each week. Looking back, that’s the only way I’ve been able to get through the past 12 months. I know that He has a plan and a purpose for everything that happens and that’s what I rely on.
I look back over the past four years and my time at Richmond. I think about the extra film I had to watch, the extra squat I had to do, the extra sprint I had to run, the late night in Boatwright studying for the exam the next day. I wouldn’t change a thing.
There have been a lot of a great memories and a lot of tough lessons that I’ve learned as a Spider, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to attend Richmond. There is truly not another place I would have rather spent my college career.