Diamond in the Rough: Drew Lindsay

Drew Lindsay is a class of 2023 wide reciever and cornerback out of Avon High School in Avon, Ohio. Standing at 5’8″ and weighing 160 pounds with a 4.6 GPA, the senior has a 4.54 40-yard dash time, can bench 255 pounds, and can squat 315. Lindsay has been described as not only talented, but posesses a much-needed energy and desire to constantly get better. Earlier this week, I had the delightful freedom to speak with Lindsay.

Q: Why do you play the game?
“I play the game to represent my family, community, and school, but also to have fun with my friends and compete. I started playing in first grade flag football and have played every year since.”

Q: Where do you see football going in your life?
“After highschool I don’t plan on playing collegiate football, but would like to be apart of football intramurals and club. Football will still live in my life through the relationships with players and coaches I’ve made along the way.”

Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned playing football?
“The biggest lesson I learned playing football is that no matter what struggle you are going through, somebody, somewhere is going through the same thing. This attitude is very comforting when you are either feeling exhausted, sore, or injured from football because you know that somebody else is feeling the same way. Once you can realize this, it can drive you to handle the challenge better. If somebody else handles it then why can’t you, and why can’t you handle it better?”

Q: What does football mean to you?
“Football is an outlet to me for my high energy and competitiveness. Fortunately with our communities support, it is also a huge opportunity and responsibility for us to be role models to the youth. We try to get to every youth camp and even have a big brother program where we hangout with younger kids that need help in our community. Our goal now is to inspire younger kids to be even better people and players then we are today.”

Q: What challenges have you overcome?
“I have dealt with many injuries in my career, but most recently I broke my collarbone during training camp last year. I played through the first 3 weeks of the injury on and off, but in the end it set me back 12 weeks and I missed the first half of my junior season.”

Q: What motivates you to keep playing, especially after those injuries?
“The main way I was able to handle the set back was staying positive and always being mentally engaged. I was able to grow as a football player throughout my injury because of mental reps. Additionally, when times get hard besides injury, like soreness, exhaustion, and defeat, I am able to keep pushing because I know that all of the other people around me are going through the same struggles. If my body doesn’t feel 100% one day, I can’t slack off because there is another person feeling the same way, and fighting through it.”

Q: How do you balance sports with your other responsibilities?
“Thankfully I am able to not work during football season so it makes everything a little easier, but it can be hard sometimes with the amount of workload from high school classes. I often find myself being more organized and on top of things during football season because it gives me a set schedule. Additionally, school work and AP tests don’t ramp up as much until the end of the year, so you are still getting introduced to your classes a bit during the season.”

Q: Do you have a favorite football memory?
“My favorite football memory was the TCCC game last year. Going into the game, we knew it was going to be a difficult task and would be a tight, four-quarter game. And that is just what it was, with every player from both teams fighting hard and playing a good game. The whole game was back and forth and went into overtime after our field goal attempt got blocked. In overtime they scored quick, and we were forced into a 4th and 9 where we needed to convert or we would lose. Sam Detillio through me a perfect low ball across the middle where nobody could catch it besides me, and thankfully I caught it and converted. From there, Sam ran the ball in for the score and Coach Elder made the hard decision to go for two. We ran a reverse play to Ethan Holbrook and he ran outside and scored the conversion. I will never forget the happiness and celebration from our stands and throughout the players on our sideline.”

Q: How do you stay trained and in football-shape during the offseason?
“In the beginning of the offseason around winter time that is where the past few years I have tried to put on some muscle and weight, because I always have been undersized. We lift heavy 4 days a week and then also have [speed] training as a team twice a week. After the winter months go by, I start my track season, which is perfect for getting used to the added weight and getting back in good condition. Through lifting, [speed] training, and track, I’m able to start camp in June in good shape, but still have to work into football shape.”

Q: How are you looking to improve your game?
“Offensively, every receiver on the team has the mindset that their routes could always be better. We are constantly working on releases and different concepts. More specifically for me, I have been focused on getting off of physical man on man press and coverage because towards the later playoff games, teams like TCCC and Hoban run a lot of man. Additionally, with our offense our running backs can get to the second level quickly so perimeter blocking has been a huge focus for us this year, and I am still constantly working to improve my ability. Defensively, I have focused a lot on tackling and man on man coverage. Most of the running backs we play, I have to be able to tackle low, and that has been a big focus for me.”

Q: On the other side, what is the strongest aspect of your game?
“I think understanding our defense and offense as a whole is my strongest skill. I have been fortunate to been practicing with the varsity unit since my sophomore year, and great previous older players helped teach me plays. This has given me three years of reps in our offense and our defense.”

Q: Do you try to model your game after any players, pro or collegiate?
“Of course I love watching receivers and cornerbacks in the league right now, like Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, JaMarr Chase, Denzel Ward, and Jalen Ramsey, but I have modeled my game the most after the players who have came through Avon ahead of me. Each practice in my sophomore and Junior year I was behind great players like Timmy Conwell, Michael Matlak, Michael Ptacek, and Kam Erskine (to name a few). Everyday, I tried to soak up as much of what they do so well and try to apply it to my game.”

Q: What are some goals you’ve set for yourself?
“A lot of my goals have been team goals. This year, we have a very special group of guys and I think the main goal is to win the last one, the State Championship. However, that can not happen if we do not take it one week at a time. A personal goal for me has just been to improve from week to week in whatever way possible. We have a large group of selfless guys who any week anybody can go off, but I don’t think anybody is overly worried about individual stats, but rather the top priority is winning games each week and playing our best football by the end of the season.”

Q: What is your favorite part of playing?
“My favorite part of playing is the great environments on Friday nights that our communities and SWC football provides us with. This year, our rivalry game against Lake was sold out to the point where people had to line the fences. When you play on those games, there is a buzz that you will feel no where else and it brings the best out of you. Not many teams get to experience that and we fortunately do.”

Q: Do you consider football to be more physically challenging, mentally challenging, or a bit of both?
“I think football is both mentally and physically challenging. You can not use your physical talents and skills until you understand the mental part of the game and your assignment each play. We spend almost as much time watching film as we do practicing. During practice, if you are not in, you have to get mental reps on the sideline and be as – Coach Elder says – ‘competitively excellent.’”

Q: What is something you want your coaches to know about you, past, present, or future?
“My main goal each practice is to improve, but I also am at football to have fun and bring positive energy. Football is a hard sport and has a lot of downs, but (to me) is the most enjoyable game and is meant to be played with team of friends working hard and having fun together.”

You can view his highlights here.

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