Throughout football history, there have been stories of players with nearly superhuman athletic ability. These athletes are so gifted, they could have competed in any sport. There are also stories of players who work incredibly hard to reach a level few others have achieved. The determination to accomplish their goals is unrivaled by anyone else in their sport. Then there are players who embody a spirit of charity and giving off-the-field. These athletes go above and beyond to show compassion and serve the communities in which they live and work. Very rarely in life do you have the privilege to witness an athlete who spans all three categories. I was lucky enough to share a locker room with one of these special human beings and can say without a shadow of a doubt, that Myles Garrett is destined for greatness in the National Football League.
When Myles first got to Texas A&M in the summer of 2014, everyone could just tell they were in the presence of a one-of-a-kind player. From the first weight workout, it was clear that Myles was on another level when it came to strength and agility. I remember coming in as a freshman and being impressed by how much weight the older guys were able to lift and the pace at which the workouts took place. If Myles noticed a difference between college and high school, it didn’t seem to impact him much at all. He was able to come right in like he had spent the last two years in an SEC weight room. That wasn’t the only shocking thing about Myles. When going through drills, he was able to chase down skill position players that had blown past others in game situations. It was astonishing to watch. Things didn’t change when we put on pads and began Fall Camp either. It is nearly impossible to come in and consistently compete against offensive lines in the SEC as a true freshman. Our offensive line in particular was full of future NFL players, yet Myles was able to come in right away and go toe to toe with them. I couldn’t help but catch myself, sometimes in the middle of a play, watching Myles make incredible moves to get to the ball.
While Myles was incredible with his on-field performance, there were other things more shocking than his athletic ability. His work ethic was incredible. There are times when guys try to skip out on reps in the weight room, or wouldn’t necessarily push themselves to their limits. This was never the case with Myles. He always gave maximum effort no matter what was asked. Another glimpse into the effort that Myles puts in is shown by the fact that freshmen often struggle with learning the new playbook. It’s much more complex than anything run in high school, yet Myles was able to seamlessly adjust to the complexity. The fact that Myles was able to adapt so quickly showed how hard he worked along with his intelligence. Many times the older guys will have to correct less experience players out on the field on where to line up and what gap to hit or whether or not they have contain. Even when you put in hours studying the playbook, it is a difficult task to apply what you know to game situations. Myles made my life much easier in situations when we were on the field together as I knew I could trust him to know where he was supposed to be and what he was supposed to do. Of course he also made my life easier by often requiring double and even triple teams to slow him down. I’m not sure how certain media types define lazy, but it seems laughable at best to apply the word to Myles Garrett.
Possibly the best thing about Myles was the positive attitude that he brought with him everywhere he went. One of my favorite memories from football is walking into the locker room and hearing Myles absolutely jamming out to some soul music. Off the field, he was just one of the most genuine and caring people I’ve met. If you are familiar with Texas A&M’s Big Event, you know it is one of the most meaningful parts of being an Aggie. It is an afternoon where you spend time doing community service to help out the Bryan-College Station area. The football team participates. Everyone is involved in the event but often you get the sense that the guys would rather be somewhere else. Myles was the exact opposite. He attacked his tasks with the same enthusiasm he had for playing football. You could tell that he genuinely wanted to make a difference and help people. I’m confident that Myles will only take his passion for helping others even further when he gets to the NFL.
The NFL Draft is full of questions about players and teams. It’s always exciting to see which athletes are going to end up where and how they are going to perform. One thing you can’t question is that Myles is one of the best athletes and people in the draft. His work ethic is also off the charts, just like his potential. The Cleveland Browns are getting a special person who will impact their community in positive ways for many years to come. I’m just thankful I had the opportunity to share the field with such an incredible individual.