Iowa’s Akrum Wadley is one of college football’s most exciting and best players and a potential top-round NFL draft pick, thanks in large part to the influence of his mom.
She arrived at the field for the first football scrimmage of her son’s life and immediately saw a huge problem: Her boy was crouched over in the middle of the offensive line, playing center of all positions.
This must be a joke, Sheronda Phelps thought. Her boy, Akrum Wadley, was the fastest 7- or 8-year-old on the field in Willingboro, a small town in Burlington County, already capable of spinning away from the other boys and juking them out of their tiny cleats. But Phelps kept her lips pursed, watching intently as the minutes ticked away.
“The game was over and he never touched the ball,” Phelps remembered. “I went up to the coach and I said, ‘Hold up. I didn’t send my son here to be no center.’ Long story short: That was the first and last time he ever played center.”
It would not, however, be the last time Phelps made her indomitable presence felt in her son’s life.
Although she rarely meddled in coaching decisions beyond that youth scrimmage, Phelps would continue to be the guiding light for Wadley, now a redshirt senior running back at Big Ten power Iowa. This season he has emerged as a preseason candidate for both the Doak Walker Award (given to the nation’s premier running back) and the Maxwell Award (best all-around college player), and through two games he’s leading Iowa (2-0) in rushing and second in receiving yards.
Whether it was deciding where to play high school football (Weequahic in Newark), how to generate more college recruiting interest (mailing out highlight DVDs herself) or choosing a girlfriend (not the one who skipped school and …read more
Source:: New Jersey Real -Time Sports