Can Palmetto Athletes Make It Pro?

January 25, 2018

Young athletes always dream of becoming a professional in their sport, but as the years go by, the percentage of high school students making it through college and towards a professional career decreases.

In football, only 6.5 percent of high school student athletes make it to college football. And from the collegiate level, only 1.6 percent of those athletes make it to the professional level, according to True Jersey. Making a career out of a sport challenges the athlete to train vigorously and demands responsibility while being a student as well.

“I’m working daily to be in that one percent,” senior running back Trey Flowers said.

Flowers signed yesterday, Jan. 24, 2018, to play for the University of Pennsylvania. Flowers had been conversing with the college coaches since his junior year and believes his football skills could take him to the professional level.

“I’m willing to go as far as my body takes me,” Flowers said. “No one knows that football is hard, man. Not just anyone can play this game.”

Flowers doesn’t know what he wants to study yet, but plans to work it out with UPenn in the future.

Out of nearly 8 million high school athletes, only 480,000 compete at NCAA levels. Many college student-athletes realize the probability of becoming a professional or Olympic athlete is very low according to NCAA.

“I think it’s on you and how serious you take it,” senior wide receiver Ivan Thomas said. “Basically, if you believe in yourself you can do it.”

Thomas is currently committed to play at FIU and plans to pursue a business-related major. He does not believe his athletic schedule will interfere with his education, and he hopes to advance to the professional level in football.

“It took hard work and dedication, but I’m still not finished,” Thomas said.

Another big factor to the recruiting process is not only the student-athlete but the coach or coaches of a team. Talking to high school or club team coaches early in the recruiting process can help players in obtaining their goal for a future career and education options.

Head football coach, Mike Manasco, takes recruitment very seriously and believes his players should strive to play professionally.

“I think it’s a great goal, a great dream to go for,” Manasco said. “I definitely think it’s attainable it’s just that the percentages are very small.”

Three football players have so far signed with division one schools, and many more players have signed with division two and division three schools, as well.

While a good portion of Panther senior football players will play at the next level, the odds of any of them playing professionally is 0.09 percent, according to Peach Net.

As Palmetto seniors venture into the world of college football, coach Manasco said he believes that his players will succeed and that Flowers and Thomas have a realistic chance of playing professionally.

“I think it’s exciting,” Manasco said. “It’s gonna be fun following them where they go and what they do.”

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