Safety first. That is something you’ll hear throughout your lifetime, especially at a young age.
The phrase comes in handy when you just can’t fully figure things out or discover how to do things the right way.
These thoughts come on the heels of an arrest in the Tampa Bay area of a notable football player.
Clearwater defensive tackle Kane Taylor was arrested on Tuesday, Mar. 8 by the Clearwater Police and charged with armed burglary, robbery with a deadly weapon or firearm, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and grand theft, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The bond for his felony charges is $312,000. The 18-year-old will now have to wait for his trial.
Taylor had 15 offers which included top notch programs Alabama, Michigan, Louisville and Michigan.
His troubled story is a bad example of a mistake gone wrong. When you are off the field, you must be smart. Whether you are out with friends, family, writing on social media or anything of that nature, don’t say or do stupid things.
I know in high school it takes some more time to mature than others, but if you have offers and interest from programs for the sport that you play then you’ll be asked to grow up quickly.
The thing is with any varsity sport, you have to realize from day one that a) it is an honor to be part of the team, b) there are tons of kids across the country that want to do the same thing you are doing at the next level and c) there are tons of other kids that are better than you in and out of the classroom.
The more you can develop your own set of skills as a team player/leader, student and overall good person, the less trouble you’ll be in off the field. I know there is an unfortunate group of kids that come from troubled homes, but your school and administration can help guide you on the right track.
Tayor is just one of many sad stories of athletes who can’t be talented both on and off the field. This story is close to home here in Tampa Bay and in Florida in general and it relates to any varsity sport like I mentioned above.
Learn from other people’s mistakes. Embrace what you have in life and do everything you can to be the best you can be. Safety is a huge part of the process and that means being smarter and wiser when you are playing sports are away from it.
More columns to come soon…
Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.