TO THE FOOTBALL RECRUITS WHO HAVE SIGNED WITH UCLA AND USC AND ARE NOW BRUINS AND TROJANS:
I’ll try to make this as precise and to-the-point as I can…
For the past three or four years, you have worked your tails off on the gridiron to get to where you are now.
And with regards to this past football season, you have stood out in a HUGE way on your high school teams
The fact that you have signed with one of the two major institutions of higher learning in Los Angeles, which also happens to be two of college football’s elite programs, is obvious proof of that.
Indeed, for the past year (likely two or three considering your credentials) you have been a man among boys as you have played on state championship teams – a national championship team according to some sources in Bellflower (CA) St. John Bosco High School’s case – and racked up big statistics and berths on All-American teams while doing so.
And I have no intention whatsoever of diminishing your accolades or raining on your well-earned parade as you have worked hard for and deserved everything you have gotten to this point.
Even though it seems that everyone, particularly the recruiting staffs at UCLA and USC who convinced you to come to their school, has been patting you on the back for a while, telling you how great you’re going to be in blue and gold or cardinal and gold and how you’re going to lead the Bruin Nation or the Trojan Family to the Promised Land…
I know it may be a bit difficult, but don’t listen to those people.
In other words, take all those gratuitous praises with a grain of salt, because while you may have done all these wonderful things on the high school field, here’s what you have done as a Bruin or a Trojan:
You were the man in high school, but the moment you step on campus in Westwood or University Park, you will be just a lowly freshman.
A boy among young men.
And if you think you are going to run out of the tunnels at the Rose Bowl or the Coliseum this coming fall with “Sons of Westwood” or “Fight On” blasting all over the place, step into the starting lineup and pick up right where you left off, it would behoove you to leave that fantasy at home, because it rarely works out that way.
Unless you work at least five times as hard as you worked while you were at Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei High School, or Los Angeles (CA) Crenshaw High School, or wherever you got your diploma.
The best advice I can give to all you four and five-star players out there is this:
When you step onto Spaulding Field at UCLA or Howard Jones Field at USC, (the Bruins’ and Trojans’ practice fields, respectively), you need to act like a walk-on trying to make the scout team; watch the movie Rudy for a reference.
By using that approach, you will earn respect from your new teammates that much quicker, which will help you to be more successful as you begin your college career.
I don’t have much more to say except that I wish you the best of luck at this next level.
A knowledgeable college football aficionado who has followed the sport for a long time