This is third in a three-part “Huddle Up” series about future Hall of Famer and NFL on CBS analyst Tony Gonzalez visiting high school football teams around the country. Watch the first installment here and the second installment here.
We’ve already seen Tony Gonzalez visit a high-school team with a rough losing streak and also seen him visit a high school powerhouse. Now the former Chiefs and Falcons tight end is heading to see a team in Brooklyn’s Poly Prep Country Day that is a traditionally strong football school dealing with a lot of youth on the roster.
Having a bunch of young guys on the team doesn’t mean they’re packing it in, and Gonzalez had a strong message for the underclassmen on the roster.
“You young guys on this team, you are getting ready for the future. So don’t waste your time while you’re out here,” Gonzalez said. “Write down what you think you can be this year. If you want to be first team All-American, you put it down on a piece of paper. Look at it every day, so you know where you’re going. And then you work your ass off. That’s all there is to it. Nobody is predestined to be great. You’ve got to put the work in.
“You can’t be lazy. You can’t come out here and put half work in because you’ll get half results. You get out of it what you put into it.”
He also had specific advice to one of the most talented players, Isaiah Wilson, the No. 1 247Sports prospect in the state of New York and an offensive lineman who is 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 350 pounds. Wilson is being recruited by just about every top school in the country, including Alabama, Michigan, Georgia, FSU and USC.
Wilson looks like an absolute beast. He’s taller than Gonzalez — a former college basketball standout — but says he didn’t hoop it up because “there was never enough contact for me.”
His physical talent has taken him far, but Gonzalez emphasized how important it was to keep pushing hard despite his success.
“Once you go to this next level, you’ve got to turn it on,” Gonzalez said. “This whole season, make sure you don’t waste it. Make sure you’re getting better. You need to make it known — there is nobody better than me, I’m the best. And they need to see a guy who’s got a motor and who is nasty. They don’t ever want anybody to say this guy is lazy or he’s taking his time because he’s waiting to college.
“You want to be the best don’t you? There’s no reason why you can’t be one of the best offensive lineman in college. You should be, like, the guy, and I’ll be talking about you on Sundays.”
It’s easy when you’re dominating the competition at a high school level to see yourself as one of the best talents in the game. But as Wilson realized when he heard it from Gonzalez, it’s an entirely different ballgame at each of the next levels if you want to become great.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Tony Gonzalez tells a big-time recruit at Brooklyn’s Poly Prep how to make the leap