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Former Walnut Football star, Jowon Briggs, continues to impress at college level
September 12, 2019
College football is beginning and excitement is in the air all around America, but for the WHHS community there is an extra boost to that excitement thanks to former student Jowon Briggs, ‘19.
After being the seventy-fifth overall high school football recruit in America, Briggs chose to take his talents to the University of Virginia under head coach Bronco Mendenhall.
“He’s strong, he’s quick, he’s assignment sound, and he’s an unselfish player,” coach Mendenhall said regarding Briggs during the teams preseason camp.
The decision for Briggs wasn’t easy due to the 16 other offers he received from top football schools, including Ohio State and Michigan. “I like the academics, coaches, teammates, and their focus on development as a man,” Briggs said when asked why he chose Virginia over the other top schools.
There are very high expectations for Briggs, considering he is known as the top recruit that Virginia has seen since Mendenhall was hired as coach in 2016. Along with this Briggs was recently named to the college football true freshman All-American team, an award given to the best freshman in their position throughout college football.
“Since Briggs arrived in June, the lofty expectations have only grown, and he’s already running with the starters on the defensive line,” ESPN Tom Luginbill said.
However Briggs doesn’t let the hype around his name affect him. “I shut all the hype out and work, in the long run, the only person that knows how good I am really is me. So I try not to disappoint myself and strive to be great,” Briggs said.
After receiving the high praise that comes with winning an All-American, Briggs was named a starter for Virginia’s opening game against Pittsburgh. He will be the only true freshman in the starting lineup for Virginia.
“He just comes in and does his job and, as a freshman, he’s coming along and learning his responsibilities and doing it at a very high level,” Virginia team captain Jordan Mack said about Briggs in the preseason.
Along with football at Virginia, Briggs plans to double major in computer science along with music. He plans to join an acapella group and wants to work hard in football to possibly become a draft worthy nose tackle and one day step onto a field with an NFL team.
After college, Briggs plans “to get a stable job with a large income, a house, then start a family, and yes the NFL counts as a large income.”
There are over 30,000 high schools in America with only about 350 NCAA D1 schools , not all of which have football teams. Therefore, to get recruited by a D1 football school, your chances are very slim. This does not mean it is impossible though.
“For kids that want to play in college, I’d say to be on top of things in the classroom, schedule out their day, and fall in love with perfecting their craft and training harder than others.You have to fall in love with making yourself uncomfortable,” Briggs said.