Being a student athlete is a year-round task for Evander Wilson, a starting fullback and shot-putter.
With two years of being a Florida A&M athlete under his belt, Wilson has received the athlete of the year award, become a starting player on the football team, and qualified for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) in two track events.
Wilson, a sophomore from Coatesville, Pa. believes that practice should be year-round as well.
“Even though the season has ended, I still practice every weekend. On Saturdays and Sundays, I’m out at Godby High School’s field practicing,” Wilson said.
As Wilson puts it, “things got real last season.” He said juggling two sports and classes got hectic.
“You just have to stay up all night doing your homework, wake up in the morning and do it all over again,” Wilson said. “This is something that a lot of people don’t get to do, so I feel very blessed.”
Wilson wasn’t eligible for the track team off bat. He was initially offered a full scholarship in football and during his sophomore year, joined the track team as a shot-putter.
“I was introduced to shot-putting in high school when my oldest brother Charles played it,” Wilson said.
By the time he reached his senior year, he participated in both the indoor and outdoor season as a shot-putter.
Wilson is far from being modest on the field. In fact, his teammate, Joshua Newkirk, a 20-year-old defensive-end from describes him as explosive.
“He’s very competitive, and he has a lot of leverage on the field,” Newkirk said.
Wilson sites technique as being the key to being successful in both sports.
“It’s a lot of technique involved in both sports, in high school it was easy, I could run over someone every play,” Wilson said. “It’s a lot different once you get to college. I remember last year a dude by the name of A’Aya Ross hit me and gave me an eye opener to college football.”
His mother was a single parent raising three boys and encouraged them to use sports to get an education.
“She told us to play sports to get you through college because she wasn’t going to be able to pay for it,” Wilson said.
His older brother Steve Brazzle, a center for the Pittsburg Power in the American Football League (AFL), said their Mom also kept them focused on school and church.
“Church played a huge part, in getting each of us where we are today,” Brazzle said. “My brothers and I have always been inseparable. My oldest brother and I kind of took Evander under our wings after his father passed when he was younger.”
Wilson said playing sports keeps him motivated to stay in school and whenever he wasn’t playing he was most likely getting into trouble.
“After football season, I would always get kicked out of school. It’s a blessing that I even made it to college,” Wilson said. “I got kicked out of ninth and tenth grade, but got my act together by eleventh grade.”
When asked how he was as a person, Brazzle said his brother was as upstanding as they come.
“I’ve never known him to be a shy person. He is also very honest and someone you can trust,” Brazzle said.
Now that the season has ended, Wilson is trying to recuperate from a shoulder injury he sustained last season, where he separated his AC-joint.
He said 10 years from now he wants to be remembered as the guy who “balled out” in everything he did.
“If you think about it, when it’s all said and done people will only remember the athletes who were the greatest. They don’t remember who had the highest GPA,” Wilson said.