Process, Tough Decisions & Strength in Support
My name is Jack Powers, I am 22 years old, and I am from Santa Cruz, California. I recently Graduate Transferred from Arizona State University to University of Virginia to continue my collegiate football career. Below is my PMR Q & A about my experiences with football along with the recruiting process.
Q: How did you recruiting process start?
A: Early on, I had no idea how the recruiting process worked. I was lucky enough to play Varsity Football as a sophomore which helped me begin the process earlier than some. A couple weeks after my Sophomore season I was named First Team All State California. Having that recognition helped get my name out in the recruiting world and attracted college coach's attention.
Q: What was your first experience with a university?
A: My first experience was getting letters from universities expressing interest in my. Mostly just general letter giving information about the university. I then began to meet coaches as they came to visit my high school. My high school Head Coach, Jeff Carnazzo, helped a lot through the process.
Q: How did you come to choose ASU?
A: I chose ASU because I believed it was my best offer; I like the coaches and everything they were telling me throughout the recruiting process. I felt like I had a strong relationship with my position coach and the recruiting coordinator; both of whom were gone by the time I reported to Tempe as a freshman. There's a good chance that the coach who is recruiting you will leave sometime when you're there; just the reality of the business. If coaches do well, they move up, if they lose, they get fired. Definitely something to think about during the process!
Q: How was training and expectations different in college than in high school?
A: In my experience, high school training does not even compare to the difficulty of college training. College workouts are so much more intense that if you are not physically, as well as mentally, strong enough, you will not make it. You need to know that the coaches are going to push you to a limit that you have never been pushed to before. They do this in order to strengthen you body, but more importantly, strengthen you mind and your will.
Q: How intense are the time commitments?
A: Time commitments are insane! Especially as a freshman. What a typical day would look like:
A typical day in-season:
5:30 - Wake up
6:00 - Weights and Conditioning
7:15 - Team Meeting
7:30 - Position Meeting
8:45 - Practice
12:00 - Lunch
1:30 - Class
3:00 - Tutoring
4:30 - Class
6:00 - Study Hall
7:30 - Free Time/Homework
Q: Did you have any triggers to help keep you focused during the school year?
A: Obviously time management is very important, especially as a freshman. My triggers early on were my academic coaches. They helped me adjust to college schedules. Although you will have help, the main trigger is self discipline. You need to be disciplined enough to wake up on time, go to class, go to tutoring appointments, and everything else your schedule requires.
Q: ASU wanted you to change positions. What was your experience in not only completely changing the environment, but also learning a new position?
A: It was definitely a challenge. I had played defensive end exclusively in high school and ASU wanted to make me into an offensive lineman. I was very hesitant at first but at the time I wanted to be a team player and do whatever I needed to help the team. If was a crazy time in my life because it was the first time I had been away from home, being a kid from California, and the first time playing the position.
Q: Sometimes the reason for making a change is a concrete thing or event, and sometimes it's more of a "gut feeling". How did you know it was time to move on?
A: I would definitely go with gut feeling. I had thought about it for over a year before I made the decision, but I kept opting to stay and continue grinding. The night before the first day of camp last summer, I knew in my heart I needed to pursue something new. It was the biggest decision of my life, and I had no doubt that it was the right decision. I can't really explain the feeling; for me, I believed in myself and was supported by the people closest to me.
Q: What was or were the reason/reasons that made the decision more difficult, or what were the reason/reasons keeping you at ASU (teammates, coaches, school, etc.)?
A: My teammates were definitely the reason my decision was so difficult. There's a handful of guys on that team that I consider family, and I felt like I was abandoning them by leaving. That definitely made the decision hard, but I knew I was making the right decision and they shared nothing but support for me throughout the whole process.
Q: Once you decided to make a change, what was your experience in going through the process of finding a new school, NCAA regulations, paperwork, etc.?
A: The process was long and frustrating. I initially thought that if I sat out for a season, I would be eligible for next season anywhere I transferred to. I was mistaken; the rule states that you have to sit out for a year after you transfer to a school. (Must be at the school for a year before you play.) The exception to the rule is that if you graduate, you can transfer anywhere Division 1 and be eligible immediately. So, I jammed my schedule and graduated with a Business Degree in three years. I took 15 credits in fall, 22 credits in spring, and 9 credits in a 6 week summer session in order to make the transfer possible.
Q: If you were to give younger athletes still in high school and about to go through the process of picking a university, what advice would you share with them?
A: My advice to an athlete about to go through the recruiting process would be to be selfish. I'm not saying to be a jerk, but look out for your own interests first. Don't let coaches play games with you or make you feel guilty for not committing to them immediately. Take your time, thank a lot, and pick the school where you see yourself being most successful. Don't pay attention to the jerseys, the facilities, or how soon the coach "sees you playing"; trust me, it's all irrelevant. At the end of the day, you're there to play a sport. Pick the coach that seems most sincere. Look at the program's history as well as the coaches history. Ask the players on you official visit to be blunt with you. Nowhere is going to be perfect, but choose the place that you believe best fits you; as well as has a need for you.
Q: To be successful in the pursuit of our goals, most people have a supporting cast that helps them along the way and helps keep them accountable for their actions. Do you have a supporting cast or how do you keep yourself accountable for your actions?
A: Absolutely. I have been blessed with an incredible supporting cast that supports me through any obstacles in my life; first being my parents. I talk to my dad almost everyday and we discuss everything going on in each others lives. I also have 8 brothers and sisters that reach out and keep me on track. On top of that, I have an incredible friend group that always keeps me grounded.
Q: You are about to start a new chapter in your athletic career, which as we all know is an exciting time. The possibility is there to have learned from previous experiences and make adjustments where you see necessary. Where is your mind at going into this new chapter?
A: I am very excited for this next chapter in my life. I feel that I am in a great place that I can be very successful. I am blessed to have this opportunity and I am working my butt off everyday in order to take full advantage of it. The mindset I have going in is that I am my only competition. I don't compete vs. others, I compete with myself. Everyone has 24 hours in a day, but not everyone is using those hours efficiently. My goal is to work and make myself the best possible football player, friend, brother, son, teammate I can possibly be. If I do that I have confidence that success will follow.
Q: What are your goals?
A: My goal is to be the best player I can possibly be; the best teammate I can possibly be; and the best person I can possibly be.
Q: What are your expectations for yourself?
A: My expectations for myself are to continue to work as hard as I can. Awards and accolades are great, but there unrealistic if you aren't willing to put the work in. I plan to continue to put the work in and have fun while doing it. At the end of the day, football is just a sport that we only get to play for a short time in our lives. My goal is to enjoy it everyday and not take these experiences for granted. Love what you're doing, and it won't feel like work.