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[S1E3] Everybody Hates Basketball



on this episode of the T. J. Thorpe show today we have nick Drew uh Jordan high school alum. Durham native if you're doing exactly what the coach told you to do. You're doing just enough to get beat. So you got to do some extra not to win to get get beat. What does that J. Brown harvey look like On this new upcoming, what is it college football, 2023 that J. Brown Harvard is gonna like mainly of speed rushers but but like Deebo Samuel DeBose Sammy you can change him around on madam to play running back and receiver. I picture myself as being able to change myself to a receiver on the depth chart. So what's up everybody? This is T. J. Thorpe and you're tuned into the T. J. Thorpe show. Today we have someone um near and dear friend grew up with him played Pop Warner Sports together. High school sports together. And now he's I mean he's I don't know what he's doing but no kidding, he's winning state championships and that's what he's doing today. We have nick Drew uh Jordan high school alarm, Durham native and now you are north Carolina football high school football alone. Um So let's I mean without further ado let's let's hop into where we're going. So I met you Pop Warner. So we'll start your football journey there. Yeah so my dad, I mean he didn't play football, he played basketball. Um I was the first really first person in my family really play football. Um I honestly don't really remember how I got started. I think I just, I told my mom and dad I want to play football and they, you know, they signed me up from Durham Eagles when I was 66 or seven. Well, I mean we beat, y'all the most part tri county, right? Yeah. Everybody know during eagles, you know, we're gonna do this today. Okay. So you know, I played uh played what for? I think four years, Durham Eagles played quarterback a little bit Rogers her and then I played corner of course, and then transition on the, you know, Jordan's, right while I was there with you for three years. So there you go. There you go. And that's when I would assume you blossom. Yeah, I would say that, I'm not going to say it has something to do with me, but you know, I appreciate you saying you're the first person to get me publicly. This is the first time I feel like Nick has given me flowers and so you will see throughout this interview, nothing but respect and love for Nick, um definitely a little brother and somebody I've learned from, you know, post football and during the tail end of my career, just as much as I'm sure that he's able to take a few things from me in high school. Um and so yeah, while we're on the high school topic. Uh you come into high school, you know, you were playing quarterback corner, you know, what's what's your mentality coming in because that I believe is why there's a lot of success coming to you now more so than even during your football career. But leading into high school, what what was your mentality coming into playing corner? Being, as you said, undersized a little bit and you know, you have to make a splash and put your best foot forward. Right? So I came in, of course I was ninth grader. I was probably like 557, maybe, probably 100 10 soaking wet on a good day. Um And like, my mentality was basically, I knew I was undersized. You said, um I was typically faster than most kids in my, in my great and I wasn't a big weight room guy. I just, my metabolism was just, you know, at all time high eat whatever and I still couldn't put on weight. Um, so my mentality was I got to be more cerebral than, you know, anybody play against my teammates and to make them better. So that was really my mentality, you know, throughout my high school career, and then obviously going into college, um because again, I was always undersized. I knew that physically, you know, I wasn't really matching up with, you know, the, the receivers that was going against on a weekly basis. Um, the tight ends, the opposing quarterbacks, the running backs, all the, all the good stuff. So my mentality was all right, let me I need to be as cerebral as I can, you know, in the film room um with the coaches to make sure I put myself in the best position possible for me to succeed and make plays. Um and that's what I kind of try to do now with my kids here are given, so obviously if I had the luxury of going against you um and seeing you grow, you know, as an athlete and into this level, but what are some of the things in high school um that you would do, because you did have a bit of a jump from, from your freshman year to your senior and ultimately getting recruited and becoming Division one um um scholarship corner, not just walk on, not just prefer, but somebody who had their school paid for. Yeah, I think it's a kind of a culmination of all three, um but you know, speed, agility, weight room and then being reborn in the film room. Um but I think honestly, one of the things like, I kind of took after you, especially like my my sophomore and junior year because he was obviously a senior or junior and senior during that time and I kinda, so I know I'm sure you remember like I would come out to practice and this was back when, you know, ERic Ebron would come out and I would, you know, run around with you guys seeing because I looked up to you guys, like you eric Ebron um and I just kind of try to be around you as much as possible because I knew you was at a place that I wanted to get, get to um Carolina. So, um, I just kinda really push myself, I give credit obviously the guy because he without without him, like all my, you know, physical attributes, my mentor, all that, I wouldn't have it without him. Then my mom and dad, they honestly push me really hard throughout my high school career. Just keep going, keep going, keep going. Um and that's what kind of motivated me. So I say probably all three um, with, you know, the help of you force and, you know, guys like ERic Ebron, you know, I know, I know he loved that, he loved that now that you are in a position to, to coach the youth and granted it's just here right now and Cardinal Gibbons, but speaking to a lot of the student athletes are gonna watch this show um what, what would you say that? It's, it's, it's good or it's it's pivotal a lot of times to find that that person or likeness or anybody. It doesn't have to be somebody team, it could be, you know, your parents be whomever, but find that one person or find that thing that you can pinpoint that you can, you know, aim for that, You can push yourself, would you say that that that's something that really any athlete should probably have? Yeah, I think it's really vital for, especially high school athletes at this at this stage to really, you know, kind of gravitate towards somebody they might look up to. Again, it doesn't have to be, you know, somebody on routine doesn't have to be somebody on the same side of the ball because like you said, you play receiver, I played D. B. We we went against each other every day in practice, you know, we use that Jordan and I still looked up to you. Um and I just saw how you moved and I kind of want to emulate my game in my life, kinda based off how you moved. So I think it's super important to um just find somebody or something um that kind of gets you going and get that. That will turn in a little bit. So yeah, I think it's super important. You you you go to, you go to Campbell now, Is that something that you, you just knew that you were going to vision one or did you see yourself it was gonna be a climb or kind of what, what gave you that I can do this? Like I'm I'm I'm that level. I mean, honestly I kind of made up my mind, made it a goal to mind to play division one at an early age probably. I'd probably say maybe my sophomore year in high school kind of after seeing how you operated. Um and to be, I mean it was, it was a rocky road, especially during my senior year. Um I didn't, I didn't get him off Campbell until two weeks before signing day, wow, man, I didn't, I didn't know who, what cool Campbell was, where was that was located? Um I think going to my senior year, I went to their camp, I got some in the mail, you know, like most of these kids get a little, can't be invited, whatever and I was like that, where's cam I've never heard of Campbell. Campbell. Campbell, it's like, that's a crazy whatever. Um So I went out into the camp. Um and I snapped, I killed it, killed it. Um And then when the coach, he, he kept in contact with me throughout my senior year, I was a little discouraged, you know, because obviously I was undersized and you know, usually 5, 10 guys that weigh about 1 50 in high school, you're not really, yeah, you better be playing, you better have something that's gonna separate yourself. Um So I think that they can't really help me. Um As far as my recruiting, I had a couple of Division three offers to go, um didn't want to necessarily do that. Um, just because in my mind I knew I could play at that level. Um So yeah, I I get my offer, I think two weeks before, um, Saturday in February February one, I believe. Um and I committed Campbell. Um and the rest is history and uh I say I think going into Campbell, one of the biggest things that really helped me is really my through because as you know, you know at the college level division 123 in ai whatever I mean it's it's a grind. Um And so I remember I think my sprint my last semester at Jordan's um I had a class, I took a class with one of our one of my teammates Phil Williamson who went on to Carolina for a little bit. Um And I remember the teacher, he was like he was asking us questions about like hard futures, how our future's gonna go, how we thought we was gonna do blah blah blah. And so he went around the field, he was like feel you think he's gonna be, you could play as a true freshman next year. He was like I don't know I mean we gotta see what day but they projected me to maybe maybe break the two deep depth chart. And then he came around to me and then give me a chance, He was like yeah I know you're probably redshirt for a couple of years in. So that just stuck in my mind you know and I kind of took that as I trained the rest of my senior into my summer. Um And then when I got to Campbell, I mean it was it was on like Donkey kong like I made up my mind, I said I wanted to make the travel roster as a true freshman and so Lord willing. I made the travel roster. Um And then I made it a goal. All right, I wanna I wanna play the game as a true freshman. I don't wanna be that they got a red shirts and make that teacher, right? So I always kept in the back of my mind um and I didn't play my first three games, but then it was actually after I believe on my birthday Turnly 18 was playing Butler University in Indianapolis. And I went and got my first got my first action as a true freshman and then talk about a birthday present, talking about birthday present, right? And then after that, I mean the rest is history. I played all but one game my senior year I would imagine just with my knowledge of football that getting some of that time early probably came on special teams. Yeah, 100%. My first play against Butler. Um Coach butterworth, he actually put me through me. You know, I think I was a gunner and I actually slipped. I was nervous. I was nervous. I was, yeah, I slipped, I was I was a gunner, I was gonna run point and I slipped. Um and then I played a little bit on defense very sparingly. Um And then I continue to you know kind of work my way, yeah, show out on special teams and work my way up the depth chart to get a little run for the kids or the student athletes who feel like, you know, special teams isn't cool. It makes you more appeal. It makes you more appealable to, to, to the coaches, to, to the scouts, to everything when you can do that because it makes you less or you're not one dimensional anymore. We can use you as many ways as we can. Um, and obviously you've seen benefit from that because you come in, you set these goals as a freshman, You accomplish them. Why? Because special team. Um, and so obviously that, that, that takes you into a role now the hunger. Okay, now I need to start locking people up again. Okay, so then then we get to locking people up. I'm sure you start playing because that's when the phone calls was coming in and the instagram post and that's when the swag changes. You start socks coming all up. Here we go. Here we go. So you mentioned your senior year, what happened in your senior year at Campbell? That, um, that just decided because you alluded to it, that's probably the pivotal moment to turn you to culture in camp. My senior year. I mean, I was feeling great, feeling good about the upcoming season, where I was, I was starting Nickelback. Um, and it's a lot locking people down a little bit and I had a a little slight sprain in my right knee wasn't anything major. Unfortunately I had to wear a leg sleeve and it did not look good on Saturdays. Did not look good one Tidbit for those of you don't wear a knee sleeve, don't just, you gotta buy that bullet, you got to bite the bullet, You are not allowed to wear a knee sleeve, knee brace, sort of anything on the knees. We are throwing the ball every time, 100%, 100 times 100% of the time every time. And then we either will throw it short and make you run up and tackle. Yeah, we're gonna throw it deep and see what that thing was, if you check the settings or the screws and make sure everything's functioning right. So so we're gonna find you just know that they will find you because I was on the wrong end. They will find for sure for sure. But but anyway, so I had that, I had to wear that nicely for to get my first two games. Then our third game of the season, we was downplaying that presbyterian down in south Carolina and for some reason my knee just wasn't, it wasn't working with me that day. So during pregame I went up to my coach butterworth coach phillipe. Um and I said coach, listen, here's how my knee is feeling. I don't know if I can go, He said, hey go out there warm up, see if you can't go, you can't go, no big deal. Just so I go out there and I make money, I can't do it because I don't want to be a liability, you know, for my team because that's what you are, your liability. I do not want to be a liability for my team out there. Um, and be the reason why we lost or whatever, the case may be so bad. Yeah, bad film, right? Or you're just putting bad film for the next opponent, you know, take advantage of you. So, um, anyway, I went up to my coach told him, I said, listen, I can't, I can't go like I'm, I can't run full speed. I can't cut like I want to, I can't back put on none of that. So he said, alright, perfect, Get a headset. So I go down and I get a headset and I'm the guy in charge of basically holding up the personnel cards. I'm basically quality control for a game. So I'm quality control, holding the personnel cards. I don't really say nothing on the headset. But I'm listening to how like the coaches articulating how they're communicating and I'm basically relaying the information from my coach coach, but refuse up in up in the booth. I'm really, really relaying information to my teammates on the sidelines. I'm saying, hey coach said this, blah blah blah X Y Z. And so long story short because before that I was actually, most people don't know, I was, I want to be a doctor, I want to be an anesthesiologist after that game, you know, I kinda, I kinda was like, man, I kind of like this and then I talked with God a little bit talking my parents and I was like, man, you know, I don't know if I want to go to med school for another med school for four years, then got to do the residency boy, then you still got, I was like, you know, I don't really know if I really wanted to do that. So like I said, I prayed about it, talk to God, talk to my parents about it and ultimately, you know, I kinda, I knew that I had a class my after I got done playing where I had to get some, oh, some experience hours for a certain class. So I went to my head coach coach meant near the end of the season. So hey, coach, this is what I got, I got a class um obviously not paying me, I just want to, can I help you guys? You know, in the spring, there's spring ball to see if this is really something I want to do. So of course you say. Yeah, so I was basically a student assistant G. A. I guess even though I technically didn't graduate. Um So I did that, I fell in love with it and then towards the end of it, you know, he offered me a J spot and I was a broke college student, they had no money and I was like, listen coach, I appreciate it, but I don't know if this, I don't know if I could do take this route. So my, one of my position coaches, coach phillipe, he actually was leaving and took the defensive coordinator job in p job here at Cardinal Gibbons and he knew that I wanted to coach, he knew that I wanted to coach. So he was like, hey nick, hey this is an opportunity for you, I don't have a job for you, I think you did you let him? Yeah. Um he said I don't have an actual day job for you, but I mean if you really want to coach is a good stepping stone to be the DB coach at Cardinal Gibbons and I kind of knew about giving a little bit because of course I went to Jordan so um I knew what kind of about them, what they were about. So I said, you know, I just take a leap of faith and say that I didn't have a job or anything. Um so I actually work at Fedex over the summer after I graduate for, I think I worked for two weeks last, I was like this, this ain't for me, I said this ain't for me. So um coach, right hook me up with Miss J, she was our registrar who's basically in charge of a whole lot but she was really in charge of um all the sub substitute assignments. So I got in good with her. Um And the rest is kind of history for that first year at least. And then you've been here just completed what my sixth season, what kind of like what was the the coaching I guess? Uh atmosphere the environment of the team. What was that like when you first got here? The Cardinal Given I got here you know six years ago. Um And when I got here like I said the culture was the culture was already intact. Um They had already laid the foundation. So I think I think me just being here I think it kind of just help take it boost it up a little bit of course with the help of players that we had along the way and also other coaches but I think you know are as far as myself, coach wright and coach leader whose office coordinator, I think us being together for at least since I've been six years. I think it's I mean it's it's done the program wonders because not only like we know how each other coach, how we operate but the kids also know our system for six years. It's almost like being at home with 100% I think it definitely helps especially defense um Like I said they've been running the same stuff for six years now. I mean a lot of them they run it you know from our freshmen team J. B. Team and now it's varsity. So I think it definitely helps because I always tell the kids if you can know what your opponent is about to do before you do it and you just that fast it like so you can run a 48 and based off your film preparation, your study, study your opponent, their weakness is their strengths, you're your own weaknesses, your own strengths and how the whole schematically how it all plays together. I think that I mean can if you run a 48 that can make you really run game speed like a 4645 you know because that's how I was I wasn't I was fat. Yeah I wasn't I was fast but I wasn't I wasn't out here running 4544. Yeah I had gang speed but that game speed came from really me being cerebral and knowing all right, if the receiver's outside numbers it ain't it ain't so many routes you can do. It starts with the head coach. Would you say your your your athletes are looking at y'all and and seeing that foundation and going okay yeah we can't an athl


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