Cass Technical High School’s NFL Bound Secondary
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For many amateur athletes, the ultimate goal is making it to the elite level of their sport and to be called a professional athlete. An added bonus is when their childhood friends make the journey with them. In the case of the 2017 draft, four lifelong friends and members of the 2013 Detroit Cass Technical High School made it a reality.
Jourdan Lewis, a cornerback from the University of Michigan sent a text on Friday of the draft to his three high school friends that he had just been picked 92nd overall by the Dallas Cowboys. They erupted in happiness and pure joy that one of them had realized their goal. Their hard work and dedication for so many years had finally come to fruition. Three picks later their friend Delano Hill was selected by the Seattle Seahawks. By the end of the weekend, DaQuan Pace and DeJuan Rogers had finalized mini-camp dates with the Bengals and the Bears. All four had been drafted and turned pro, achieving their ultimate goal.
Cass Tech’s former secondary coach, Jermaine Crowell, said that this shocking news was not so shocking after all. He knew that the boys were going to be in the NFL one day because of what they bring to the game. Each boy has their own special attribute that makes them separate from the pack. Hill has the physical tools. Lewis is the playmaker. Rogers has the football intellect and Pace has the speed and quickness. Every day at practice they battled one-on-one in drills
and had to use their defining attribute to win. They battled at an unmatched intensity level they to lock up starting spots. They always were prepared and performed at the highest level on game day and that success helped them make it to the NFL.
All four friends getting drafted is remarkable, but the four want more. DeJuan Rogers believes the goal is not finished. “Now that this is happening, we’ve got to find some type of way to get on the same roster so we can play together again.” The story is incredible in the fact that four childhood friends from the same high school secondary made it to the most elite level in their sport, but there would be no success if they did not sacrifice daily when they were younger and push themselves together. Working hard is one thing, everyone has the ability to do that. What separates their hard work from anyone else is that they battled against each other, every day. Each player has their own characteristic about themselves that allows for them to gain an edge on their opponent, and they learned how to harness that attributes to dominate a matchup from playing against each other.
Anyone can work hard, but in order for an athlete or person to maximize their potential and time they spent working, each second must be strategically spent learning and maturing while working. Working in solitary allows for a person to learn about themselves, but learning from others is not possible in that environment. In an environment of likeminded individuals that are competing for the same goal, hard work is not just hard work, every second spent working with and against each other is time that they are learning and using their skills in order to dominate future opponents.
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