football

A four-stars painful road to success

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There are recruits all across this land that Rivals.com reports on and we as the public marvel at their athletic prowess. Sometimes people forget that these young men have lives and because they are so gifted we think that life has brought them nothing but blessings.
This a story about UCLA Bruin bound four-star defensive tackle Brian Price (6-1, 285, 4.88) from Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw and his family.
The Price family had to face pain so vast that it is unimaginable. Through pain Price and his family were able to get through the depths of despair and saw a ray of hope. In that small ray of hope, a winner's attitude was born.
It is bad enough when a family loses a life under any circumstances, but to murder and twice, it is hard to fathom that kind of sorrow, but somehow, from somewhere the family prevailed.
The family pulled together and kept their younger son from the same pitfalls that took their two older sons and will see him graduate from Crenshaw and then head to UCLA on a full athletic scholarship.
The middle brother was named Eddie and on one Sunday evening he tried to help a young lady who was getting hassled by a bunch of thugs in a car.
Eddie offered to walk her to the bus stop and then realized that buses won't be running as frequently. After all this was Sunday.
The young lady decided to call her mother to come and pick her up. She asked Eddie if he would stay until her mom arrived and that's what he did.
The young lady went to the phone booth and while she was dialing home the car that had been harassing her showed up and shot her. She faked like she was dead and then the would be killer turned his attention to Eddie who tried to flee for his life but was shot down.
Eddie died on a Los Angeles street that night.
It made a profound impression on young Brian Price.
"In 1998 my brother (Eddie) got killed," Price said. "He was trying to turn his life around and give his life to God when it happened. I really missed him and he always wanted me to play football. I never did and then that's when I started to play to football."
Price goes against type of the stereotypical jock. He wrote poetry and painted to ease the pain of losing his brothers.
"Brian would paint pictures of the crime scene," Frank Price, Brian's father said. "It was his way of dealing with his pain.
"When I told Brian that Eddie was never coming home again," the elder Price said. "He was holding a football and his tears covered that ball."
Unknowingly to the family, tears would flow again for the Price family, murder would claim another son.
"In 2003 my brother Damon was getting his life together after getting in some trouble and he didn't want to gang bang anymore," Price said. "He wanted to turn his life around, too, and wanted to be a rapper. He even started his own record label and had people who wanted to rap on his label and all that. He was on the way to the studio when his friend in the backseat shot him.
"I think about them both (Eddie and Damon) during the game, before the game and after the game. A lot of my anger comes out on the field and not on society.
"I was young and I didn't know that people could get killed like that. I looked up to my brothers. They were like my roll models and when Eddie got killed, it turned my life around, even though I was pretty young and didn't know much.
"Both of my brothers wanted me to play."
Many times when tragedy hits the family of a young man, he would want to take revenge, but Price's parent's stepped in and kept him out of the allure of gang life in Los Angeles.
"My family was a big part of keeping me on the straight and narrow," Price said. "I was also smart because of what happened to my brothers, I didn't want to go down the same way. I didn't want to die that way. It's like suicide joining a gang. It's not smart at all.
"My father and my mother helped me keep my head on straight and when I started to get older, they still helped me keep my head on straight. They were always there for me."
"If a gang member tries to get me to join, I just tell them no. Most people see me walking around with my football cleats in my tote bag when I'm walking home or something, they don't bother me.
"My parents play a good role in my life. They encourage me and they stay positive and help me keep going.
"When I'm down, they pick me up. It's alright to morn but life goes on. You have to endure. We are a praying family and a family that prays together, stays together.
"They are always in my ear about staying humble, don't get big headed and keep me pointed in the right direction."
That direction was football and soon it was apparent that Price had the talent to go places as an athlete.
"I realized that I may get a scholarship at the beginning of my junior season," Price said. "I was thinking about it in the tenth grade, but I didn't really play a lot, but in 11th grade, it was the year of my life."
In the spring, Price became one of the most sought after recruits in Southern California. Both UCLA and USC battled for his services with the Bruins winning the day. Arizona and Cal also offered.
Unlike many young student athletes, Price already has in mind what he wants to major in and not surprisingly he will be able to draw on his artistic abilities.
"I want to take architecture," Price said. "I would like to be an architect."
One of the things that is most impressive about Price on the football field is he plays with such passion.
"I have to whip his butt," Price said. "I have to work hard every down. I don't know who is watching me, so I have to play hard every down. I don't want anybody to be able to see me loafing. That's why I work hard everyday."
"My goal this season is to get more sacks, be a team leader, be a captain and lead by my work habits and make the US Army All-American Bowl game.
"I also want to graduate with a 3.5 GPA and make parents proud."
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