"But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded." -- 2 Chronicles 15:7
National Signing Day comes only twice a year, but it's a very special day for athletes, as this day partially decides the rest of their academic and athletic lives. Taylor DeLoach (St. Vincent's Academy) is currently the best sprinter and jumper in her class and arguably others as well. One things for sure, after 6x Georgia State Champion DeLoach jumped 20-1 at her 2A Sectionals in 2014, and was consistent in the 19's for almost all of 2015; she would be a top prospect for colleges across the country. After taking 4 of her 5 visits to Georgia, Ohio State, Clemson and the University of Miami, DeLoach has decided to take her talents to the BIG 10, at The Ohio State University.
"Well, I was really interested in a BIG 10 school, so I looked into the history, staff and athletes and really thought it would be a great place for me," DeLoach explained when speaking on her interest in Ohio State.
Ohio State was the third visit she took, and I guess you can say it had that lasting BIG 10 impression on her. The normal scheme for a college visit would be to tour around campus, go to the game and hang out with the team; DeLoach says that was exactly her favorite part. "The campus was beautiful and the view you get from the library and stadium was breathtaking and everything is so big, I love it! The games were really hype too, I felt like a part of the family already!" When visiting colleges the team can be the make it or break it factor for a recruit coming to their school; DeLoach loved the vibes of her future OSU team and she says they were lovable and were very happy to have the recruits with them that weekend. Those vibes flowed into practice as DeLoach said, "I liked the way the team interacted with the coaches and just the environment felt very right."
After picking the college that feels right for you the whole recruiting process seems worth the stress, but when some athletes start the recruiting process it's not all glitter and gold. The hardest part for DeLoach was choosing her top 5, eventually to become her top 4 schools for her visits. Her favorite part about the recruiting process was finding out all the colleges that were interested in her that she didn't know about, which was a lot of schools. Going into the whole thing DeLoach said, "I was honestly looking to get full rides hoping that all my hard work payed off from wanting to quit, to feeling back on top again."
Being a future college athlete you have to be realistic on how your transition to college from high school will be. Things obviously won't be the same and training will get 10 times are harder especially when entering one of the best programs in the BIG 10. DeLoach knows this and said, "In the beginning I know it's going to be a little rocky getting used to training, school and the big college life, but I feel I will adjust and fit right with Gods blessings! Just have to keep the faith and make these the best 4-5 years of my college experience!" DeLoach wants to major in Health Science, and her academic college goals consists of maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher throughout her career, and for the possibility to become an Academic All-American.
Taylor DeLoach is a very determined athlete, and I know she's striving to do some big things for her biggest year yet, her senior season. Her goals for this year are to run 11.5, 23.8 and to stay consistent in 20's for long jump. With senior goals like these, it's no surprise that her collegiate goals are to be an All-American, as well a champion individually in her events and team wise.
For athletes in the sport we call track and field, things can and most of the time are always tough. DeLoach went through a time where the results weren't where she knew they should be, and she got really down on herself about her performances. She continued telling her story by saying, "But, now I've realized I'm not who I used to be and I'm becoming better every day. I did a lot of praying and thinking, but without God nothing is possible so I remember this special verse (2 Chronicles 15:7), which gets me through practice, school and just when I feel like my work isn't enough. Soon it will be for something greater than I can imagine… Honestly, whatever God has in store for me in his wish, but whatever it is I know he has prepared me for it."
Athletes with this mindset work harder than everyone else, are very humble and they get the job done in record breaking ways. The BIG 10 is known for their smart, strong minded and powerful athletes, and I think it will be a great fit for Taylor DeLoach. The Ohio State University has had its share of amazing athletes going all the way back to Jesse Owens himself. I wish Taylor DeLoach the best this year for her senior year, congratulations on signing today and welcome to the BIG 10 family!