Nick Lawrence, Westside High School
Westside High School senior Matthew Harless was joined on Signing Day by his family and high school coach.
Matthew Harless signs a letter of intent to play football next year for Marshall University.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Many high school athletes in their junior and senior years dream about playing at their dream college or university, but there is one thing holding them back: they don't know where to start. Matthew Harless, formerly a linebacker for Westside and Marshall's newest recruit, has some advice."It is best to get yourself out there," he said. "Go to camps, and listen to people who have been there before."After football was over my junior year, I kind of felt as if I wasn't good enough. My senior year I went to a bunch of camps, worked on my game and got better, faster and stronger."During the middle of the school year, Marshall's linebackers coach, Adam Fuller, visited Harless at Westside and offered him a spot as a preferred walk-on, which means Harless has been recruited by the school but not offered an athletic scholarship. That's when Harless knew that hard work and dedication to something you love definitely pays off.
"I've wanted to play college football since I was around 5 years old. It's been a dream," he said.However, choosing Marshall wasn't just about playing football in college for Harless, who plans to major in physical therapy."I picked Marshall because it is the school that is perfect for me. It has my field of study, a great football program and is close to home," he said. "I was offered to play for a few other colleges, but I was dead set on Marshall."My family, my brother and coaches have been a really big part of who I am and how I became the person I am today," he continued. "I would like to thank my teammates and people who pushed me throughout the years."The decision to play colligate level sports needs to be a well-thought-out process. Keep in mind that when you're in college, you will still have to take classes. You will be more responsible for balancing school and your sport than you are now.Don't rush into any decisions that you might regret later on. The last thing you want to do is fail college because of sports. Talk to your parents, guidance counselor, coaches and potential collegiate teammates to get advice on playing sports in college. College sports are not for everyone. If you do plan to play, you can also gain exposure and meet coaches by joining www.berecruited.com