As he gears up for his first season as the Seabreeze starting quarterback, I sat down with junior Brevin Glaze to talk about the two things he believes has kept him from his full on-the-field potential: ACL injuries.
Glaze has been recovering for almost two years since his last injury, but getting back to 100% has not been easy.
Me: ACL injuries seem to occur all the time in football. Of course you look at them a lot differently now, right?
Glaze: When I hear about someone in this area who tears his ACL, I'll do my best to reach out to them, because it begins a battling mental process. You start to have a lot of doubt; you can’t do the things you're used to doing, and nothing ever feels the same. So, you start to get to want to give up.
Me: I’m pretty sure the first one was tough on you, but, after the second injury, what went through your mind?
Glaze: After my second one, I thought it was over. My older brother had torn his left ACL twice and his right one three times, and I just had this thing in my head telling me that football or any other sport wasn't going to work. There were nights I would cry and just pray and hope that I could get through a second ACL tear. Around the five-month mark into rehab, I really thought about quitting.
Me: How did you get through what seemed to be your hardest time?
Glaze: My dad pushed me, and he prayed for me every night, that I'd be a better athlete than before. I also found this story about Henry Jose from Missouri, who tore his ACL, MCL, meniscus, patellar tendon and flipped his knee cap around. His story proved to me that anything in this world can be done. There I was, ready to quit, and Henry Jose was never going to quit, even after some of his coaches were worried that he'd never walk again. I had that opportunity to at least walk again, so I knew it was time to work hard and do everything I could to get both of my knees healthy and well again.
After almost two years without tearing a single ligament in my body, it's showing me that God always has a plan and anything can be done with hard work and prayer.
Me: Have these knee injuries changed the way you play?
Glaze: At first, yes. It was rough because you're a little nervous when you step back on the field. You play more cautiously, and that's how I played my freshman and sophomore year. Wearing a knee brace was like playing with a target. It helped that I played through spring football without a brace because playing nervous with a brace is mental. I still play smart—slide when I need to, avoid big hits and throw the ball away. But I'm also now playing with a different mindset coming off a 1-9 season.
Me: So, how much do you think you've grown since last season?
Glaze: From last season, I’ve become more of a leader. I didn’t always want to be at practice. But I’ve realized that high school football comes only once, and these could be my last years playing football, especially as a Sandcrab—I’ve been one since I was 10 years old. I’ve also realized that if a team’s quarterback isn't pushing himself every day in practice, then most of the team will follow that pattern.
Me: What has been the best thing you've done for your team so far, and do you think they see the leader in you now?
Glaze: The best thing I’m doing for my team would have to be staying late, throwing every day in the offseason, doing anything I can with what I have around me. I absolutely think they do see a leader in me now, because I go out to the field every day, even if it’s just me. I have even had linemen come up to me in seventh period, during school, and asked if I needed their help. It was funny watching the big guys run routes. I do my best to see how everyone is doing because we're a family, and we have to look out for each other no matter what.
Say what? “Yes, I've been through two serious knee injuries but just like Henry Jose, nothing's going to stop me from playing the sport I love.”