I Played Football In the Spirit of Friendly Competition This Blog will Address Michigan vs USC Football On and Off the Field. I Played Football at Michigan Class of 1975. Both my sons Alex and Khaled Holmes along with my son in law Troy Polamalu played Football at the University of Southern California. During Alex Holmes time at USC, they were the top team in College Football with back to back NCAACF National Championships and the 2002 Orange Bowl Championship. Many people thought the USC 2002 Oange Bowl Championship team were the rightful National Champions which would have made USC 3 time back to back National Champions. Had USC made a first down in the 2006 Rose Bowl vs Texas, then USC could have been 4 times in a row National Champions. Impressive era in USC Football. Alex Holmes was personally responsible for recruiting every top player on those USC teams. Alex Holmes was recruited to USC out of Harvard Westlake High in Studio City, Ca. by Coach Paul Hackett. Alex was admitted into the USC Marshall School of Business as a freshman which was a remarkable achievement for a freshman. School, Football and his recruiting duties made it impossible for Alex to remain in the MBA program. Pete Carroll became the head coach Alex’s sophomore year and the domination began. As USC was on the rise, Michigan Football was declining. I reminded my boys that Michigan was the all time winning-est program in College Football History. They continued to give me a hard time. This blog is a friendly attempt for those who know to post their info about Michigan and USC Football Players accomplishments both on and off the field. I claimed President Gerald Ford. Send me what you got.
By Justin DeFreece
Six-year NFL veteran wide receiver Marlin Jackson sat down with Player Engagement to discuss his community outreach initiatives, including Prepared to Succeed. In this interview, Marlin shares what Prepared to Succeed is doing to help high-school and college athletes prepare for life in the pros.
Justin DeFreece, NFLPE: Great to speak with you, Marlin – what have you been doing since becoming a free agent?
Marlin Jackson: Thanks, Justin you too. I’m still keeping up with my training in case I return to the pros, but just in case I am making plans for my next career. I have also been working heavily with three of my community outreach initiatives, The Field of Dreams, Fight for Life, and Prepared to Succeed. Fight for Life is a program geared towards supporting the psychological and mental wellness in our youth and Prepare to Succeed is a best practices presentation for incoming rookies.
JD: Can you briefly describe the purpose of your Prepared to Succeed program and who it caters to?
MJ: Yes, absolutely. The PTS program is a five-hour presentation designed specifically for juniors and seniors in college who are about to enter the pros. The program is designed to give them a running start in smoothly transitioning into the NFL by surrounding themselves with the right people and making the right decisions. We cover everything from navigating the agent selection process, to choosing your financial advisor, the change in the dynamics of your family to expect, how to handle requests for cash and gifts, renting/buying a home as a rookie, and making positive decisions on the whole that will set you on a path for success. The program is very inclusive and provides invaluable info to rookies.
JD: What made you want to create the program?
MJ: My own experience and that of my roommate, Tim Massaquoi, who was also a rookie going through the same transition into the NFL as I was. I was a first round draft pick and my roommate was a practice squad player. We both realized that we were in the dark on so many vital issues that could affect our success in the NFL. For example: how to pick a good neighborhood, whether to rent or buy a home as rookies, how much to budget monthly, and who we should align ourselves with – so many basic life questions. That’s where our program comes into play – we start at square one and teach players how to make informed decisions. We have real-life role playing games and teach players in real-time the consequences of good and bad decisions in these foundational years. I think there’s an immense benefit to this hands-on approach.
JD: How do you feel this compliments existing NFL Player Engagement PREP programs?
MJ: The NFLPE programs are great – but we want to help educate players even before they are drafted. We want to try to spread the word even as they enter their junior or senior year of college. This way, players are more informed and thus better prepared to make these decisions as they are approached by agents and the real world is thrown upon them. Ideally, by the time [Rookie] Symposium takes place, a player will have already heard some of these messages and be more receptive to them. We feel our program can work together with the NFL and NFLPE’s programs.
JD: What else can we (the NFL) and society as a whole do to better prepare the PREP population for on and off-the-field success?
MJ: NFLPE has truly done a remarkable job. One of the only things I would do differently is a little more outreach and accessibility to NFL staff by players. I can honestly say that the difference in impact and successes of NFL player-focused programs after the NFLPE rebranding when Troy Vincent [VP of Player Engagement] took over was night and day. But even so, not enough players know about the incredible resources that are available to them. We need to keep pushing to reach these players.
JD: Any advice you would give to PREP athletes?
MJ: To be responsible and take control of your career. Don’t put your future in the hands of someone else and expect them to take care of it. You simply have to take control and use the resources out there.
JD: Thanks again for your time, Marlin! You’re definitely making an impact out there!
MJ: Thanks Justin, it’s up to all of us to set these guys on the right path. Best of luck with the 2012 Rookie Symposium.
This interview was conducted in June 2012.
By Kyle Johnson
Coordinator of Player Engagement
Player Engagement was on-the-move again as we partnered with the Wharton Business School to conduct our first selective leadership and achievement recognition program for a group of elite male and female student-athletes in Philadelphia, PA.
The inaugural NFL-Prep Leadership Program consisted of a select group of 36 top rising senior high-school student-athletes. These particular student-athletes were selected based off their excellent performance on and off the playing fields. The program recognized the success of the invitees and provided participants with two days of specific leadership training and development programming. The rigorous coursework, breakout groups and panels specifically designed by The Wharton School provided a formal foundation of leadership training for this next generation of leaders.
Student-athletes heard from Wharton professors, NCAA representatives, Gatorade Health & Wellness representatives, and much more. Student-athletes were educated and interactively engaged on subjects ranging from leadership personalities to cognitive functions. Student-athletes even got a chance to hear from Arthur Joseph, an animated and informative vocal coach who engaged students through role play emphasizing the importance of voice structure and confidence. One student said of Arthur, “He really helped me be aware of how I present myself to others and how I want to be viewed. I will use his advice throughout my life and he was fun as well.” After diligently learning from Arthur and other leaders in their respective fields, student-athletes explored the beautiful Penn campus and even enjoyed a night out at bowling.
The program’s satisfaction survey results were astounding, as 100% of students indicated a better understanding of leadership skills, styles, and fundamentals. The survey also indicated that students had a better understanding in the areas of people management, negotiations, financial literacy, social media, and goal setting. The survey results suggest these student-athletes are equipped and ready to make an impact as leaders in their senior year. One student-athlete mentioned “Overall, this program exceeded my expectations. I met a lot of great people and learned a lot of new material that I will take home and use.” Another student-athlete said “I plan to make the most of what I learned here to make the most of my senior year.”
Overall, student-athletes left campus equipped and excited to take the reigns as leaders. Player Engagement and The Wharton Business School were very pleased with the inaugural program and can hardly wait to welcome the next class of leaders in 2013.
By Troy Vincent
Vice President of Player Engagement
“The time is always right to do what is right.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
As a student-athlete, you already realize the importance of “standing out” and being recognized for your exceptional playing abilities on the field. There is one quality, however, that far exceeds any one single play during competition. It’s called integrity.
Player integrity is not the most frequently-used term when discussing your potential. Those of us who played or are coaching the game, however, will tell you that you’ve got to possess it in order to truly be successful.
With that being said; what is player integrity, and do you have it?
To begin with, integrity, in general, is described as “the following of moral or ethical principles.” Each of us has our own set of moral standards based on what we feel is right or wrong. Personally, I believe integrity is both an internal conversation and an external action. H. Jackson Brown and Coach John Wooden both referred to character and integrity as doing the right thing when no one is looking. That takes thought followed by action.
Player integrity is based on all of these important principles and practices. As a student/professional athlete, even more is required of us due of our ability to have a greater community impact.
When you are part of a team, your actions either contribute or detract from the team’s overall integrity. If you compete fairly and are honest in all your actions both on and off-the-field, then your individual player integrity becomes an asset to the team.
Integrity and character may not be the flash that gets you noticed as often as talent and ability. When it comes to being truly successful in athletics, remember that talent and ability are like a sprint, while integrity and character will set you up for a lifetime of success.
As you prepare to return to your schools and institutions of education, remember these words: “integrity means the fit between words and actions, as seen by others.”