National Football League (NFL) legend Michael “Mike” Vick visited Alcorn State University (ASU) on February 26, 2020 in the James L. Bolden Campus Union Ballroom. Vick has been touring various schools across the country as part of his tour entitled, “The Empowerment Tour: The Power of Decision Making.” Alcorn was one of the fortunate institutions chosen that Vick would attend. Because of the high volume of attendance that was expected, the doors opened at 5:30 pm, however, the event didn’t begin until 6:00 pm. The purpose of Vick’s visit was to inform students about his life and to motivate them to remain focused with the dreams they intend to pursue.
During the forum, Vick was interviewed by a panel of Alcorn State University students, Phil Love, Deon Lacey, Phillip Jackson, and Yuan Nichols who produce “Real Spill”, a weekly sports radio talk show that airs every Wednesday at 1:00 pm on WPRL 91.7 FM and wprl.org. The panel asked questions pertaining to Vick’s childhood, college life, and his career as an NFL player so that the attendants could know as much as possible about him. Vick explained, “By being the starting quarterback in high school, I was very distracted. This led me to having a 1.9 GPA. My mom forced me to quit basketball because I was playing two sports at the time.” Even though Vick faced many obstacles throughout life, he never gave up. He elaborated, “I became very discouraged because when D1 college recruiters would come to discuss my opportunities with my coach the conversations were very one sided because of my GPA. However, I continued to apply myself because I began to understand how academics impacted me.”
After discussing his high school career, Vick began to discuss how his life panned out while in college and entering the NFL. “The process to choosing schools was a tough one for me. I wanted to attend a school that had a good academic and athletic program. I grew up wanting to attend Notre Dame, The University of Alabama, and Florida State, but I realized my family wouldn’t be able to attend my games so I decided to attend Virginia Tech,” he stated.
The panel then questioned Vick about his excitement on Draft Day and how this experience shaped him to begin his career in the NFL. He responded by stating, “When I look back, I don’t regret any decisions I’ve made. Being chosen as the number one draft pick was a humbling experience. The work immediately began after signing the contract.” Vick also gave the African American males some words of advice about starting their career and staying focused, by saying, “Be patient, believe in yourself, and have a plan.” He added, “I believe in the power of prayer. There are things I have to apply to my life that are outside of what happens on Sunday regarding football.”
The event concluded with questions from the audience where students were able to ask about Vick’s strategies while playing sports. Other attendants simply expressed their admiration for the NFL great. Following the event, people were able to buy products from Vick’s brand and had the opportunity to take a photo and have the items autographed by him.
For more information about Vick’s tour, visit www.iammv7.com.