by Tyler Roaix
The life of any college student is never easy, as we all know. Everyone struggles at some point in their college career, but adding athletics onto that is a whole other challenge. One Blue Devil who knows that better than anyone is senior Jevon Elmore, who has had one of the toughest paths of any student-athlete to suit up.
Elmore came to Central Connecticut State University as a freshman with a lot of potential, in both football and track. He earned spots on multiple All-Area teams as a high school football player. He also came in as one of the best sprinters in high school track in Connecticut, winning the CT Class 100-meter sprint.
But Elmore faced setbacks when he was sidelined for all of 2016. According to Tom Pincince, Assistant Athletics Director for Communication and Media Services. Elmore was out of school last year, making him ineligible to participate in athletics.
“The year off was definitely weird. It felt like I was with a whole new team. But the guys just brought me in, players and coaching staff. But football is football. I stayed in shape and the transition was pretty good. But just being out here on Arute [Field] and being out here with these guys, wearing this blue, it’s so special.”
Elmore has been an anchor for the Blue Devils when he was on the field. He contributed 151 total tackles in his first three seasons, an impressive number for a defensive back. His 71 tackles in 2015 were good for third on the team, and earned him a spot on the All-NEC First Team.
So many student athletes like Elmore go through struggles trying to balance schoolwork with athletics.
Going through a typical day, Elmore shared how he starts his day early with defensive meetings and weight training. He is back out on the practice field at three o’clock and there until six or seven at night. Then he has to find time to do all of his homework and any other school related activities.
“It’s so hard. People complain saying we get special privileges and how we don’t deserve scholarships and this and that,” Elmore said.
He continued to share the things people outside of the athletics community say about the commodities athletes are given. “But we put in so many hours whether it’s film or at practice or in the weight room. And then we have to compensate for our bodies getting tired, staying up late, waking up early, studying, doing homework. And we are doing all that while preparing for our games. Psychologically, it’s a lot to take in, but that’s why we play the game. That’s why we are student-athletes. We have to find a way to balance it.”
When discussing advice he would have for a freshman, Elmore used his personal experiences as a driving force. “Trust the process. Fall in love with the process. Whether it’s summer training or maybe taking summer classes or just being up here, spending all these hours on the field. Just trust it.”
Elmore also reiterated the need for younger players to stay patient.
“You’re young. You want to play right away. You want to do this and that and make your family proud. But it’s all a process. You get faster. You get stronger. You get to learn the playbook. You just get that much more comfortable on the field. Stick to what the coaches are telling you. Don’t rush it and just take it all in, because it’s a crazy ride.”
Reflecting on his career, Elmore shared that the best moment of his career was the Homecoming game in 2015. Central picked up a big win over Bryant, 35-33. Elmore had three tackles and a key interception in that game to help the Blue Devils.
Elmore’s time at CCSU has been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. But the life of a student-athlete never is easy. This is what sparks the debate of whether or not athletes should be paid. Either way, student-athletes will always face challenges regular students just do not see. Jevon Elmore knows those struggles more than anyone.
“Every game obviously is important. But it’s my senior year so every game I get I’m just grateful to be out here.”