Everyone always asks how I got the name “Boogie.”
I’ve used a few stories over the years, but the real reason is a couple days after I was born, my mom’s friend gave me the nickname “Boogie” because I always kept moving.
I guess no one could really get me to sit still, and it kind of just stuck.
Well, growing up in Roanoke, that same mentality of always having my feet moving kept on with me. Whether it was playing sports or running around our Northside High School campus, I just loved to stay involved with everything.
But when I really started getting into football, that’s where all of my energy went.
Towards the end of my freshman year, our head coach had me come up to varsity for the playoffs. I wasn’t really sure I was cut out for it, but I couldn’t wait to see what it was like at the next level and put my all into it.
That dedication and commitment didn’t start there though. It was always something I tried to represent because of my parents.
All of my life, my number one role model has been my parents.
Seeing them work multiple jobs to get our family what we needed, I’ve always strived to represent my roots. No matter what, their sacrifices did not go unnoticed.
So when it came to something like football, I didn’t really think there was any other way to approach it than all in, 100% dedication.
But I didn’t always know what I was capable of.
As I got some reps on varsity and moved up the depth chart, my high school coach, Coach Torrence, helped me see that I could play at the next level. After a few conversations with my dad, I had my eyes set on D1.
Ever since then, I’ve kept that in the back of my head to know I have the potential to do what I might not think I’d be able to do. When my coach said that, it put the game in a whole new light for me.
So with recruitment on my mind, I started to talk to coaches and try to find which side of the ball I’d end up on. I loved being on the field as much as possible, but there was one thing that really helped narrow down my options.
I liked hitting people but didn’t like getting hit as much.
So when I was looking at programs, I knew I wanted to play defense, but also somewhere that was close to home.
That’s how Wake Forest came into the picture.
Not only was it close enough to Roanoke, but their defensive staff saw a fit for me and I loved everything from the campus to the way I could develop on the field.
But when I got on campus, I realized I wasn’t really ready to play at this level.
It was going to take a whole new level of commitment.
Getting tagged with the redshirt, I knew I could spend all of my time in the weight room trying to get my body right. But I also knew I had a whole new defense to learn and build myself for the position.
I tried to use guys like Marquel Lee as a role model, knowing he’d soon be in the league, so I could understand what it took to have success at this level. Whatever it was going to take, I wanted to find a way to put the time in to achieve it.
Now, I’m still trying to use that same mindset for everything I want to achieve here at Wake Forest.
Whether its the ultimate dream of getting to the league, or just trying to get to the quarterback a few more times than last year, I just want to give the process my all.
And if I do that, I know I can get anywhere I want to go.
Always remember that if you can embrace the process while learning everything as much as possible, that’s how you’ll truly end up where you want. Just have fun with it all, and own the moment you’re in.
It only happens once.
Carlos Basham | Contributor
Defensive End, Wake Forest University