Although the Oakland Raiders have a storied history, the mid 2000’s were not great for the franchize. Year after year with losing records, you’d think they could turn it around with their high draft picks, but the help never came.
The one bright spot: Khalil Mack.
A first rounder out of the University of Buffalo, Mack has gone on to prove his worth and then some. Quickly becoming a Pro-Bowler, he partnered with Derek Carr to help turn the organization around and make the playoffs.
But for a guy who only started playing football his senior year of high school and only had one offer, all of this success sometimes still seems like a dream.
High School: Fort Pierce Westwood High School (Fort Pierce, FL)
Weight: 215 Lbs
Recruiting Ranking: 2 Stars
Growing up in Florida, Khalil Mack’s first love was actually with the game of basketball.
He played a few other sports at a young age, but you could never get him off the court. All of his life, he always imagined playing in the NBA and one day playing on the same court as his idols in Kobe and Lebron.
But sometimes, injuries can change our plans.
With a tear in his knee, Mack no longer had the bounce that had once made him the prominent basketball player. Instead of getting down on himself, he followed the advice of the school’s football coach, and decided to take his talents to the gridiron.
Now, getting recruited is hard enough when you play all four years, but trying to get recruited in one year? Almost impossible.
Unfortunately, even with all of his raw talent, this was the same case for Mack.
The only bright spot was one coach who was on a routine recruitment trip of Florida, Liberty football assistant, Robert Wimberly.
As soon as he saw Mack, he knew he had to have him. But he was still nervous because no other schools were recruiting him. He doubted that he would actually get Mack to Liberty.
Ironically, Wimberly was actually right. But not because Mack wasn’t interested.
At the end of Khalil Mack’s recruitment, Wimberly actually took a new position at the New York State school of Buffalo, a little known D1 program. With his new job, he also brough Mack, hoping he could het him to adjust to the harsh winters.
But boy was it worth it.
After signing to receive a scholarship, the program never looked back. Going down as the best player in the school’s history, it almost seems like a story too good to be true.
And then going on to become the program’s only first round draft pick and an eventual Pro-Bowler, it seems like this one is fit for Hollywood.
But that’s the honest truth!
So if any of you guys are sitting out there thinking: “Oh, I only have one offer from some small school……” Or, “No one is noticing me!”
Just remember, it only takes one person to believe in you for you to reach your dream. Go out and change someone’s mind.