He wakes with a ball in hand, ready to go to work. When that's done, it's weight training, working to get stronger. Somewhere within that time, there is school and all that goes along with that. This routine goes on daily, with the exception of the weekend when football is the overwhelming priority.
Sounds like a day in the life of most high school football players right? Maybe so, but this athlete is far from the norm. Here is simplified schedule of Newton athlete Aaron Golub, a deep snapper who resides in suburb just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. "I get in a lot of practice. I really do have to snap and lift everyday. I have to train or I won't be able to get where I want to be," Golub says with a confident tone. "I wake up with a football in my hand everyday, and I probably snap for and hour a day."
This sounds like most football players, consumed with being the best at what they do. Basically, living by the premise of "Football is Life." But the life of Golub, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 195, is slightly different than the estimated one millions football players across the country. See, Golub is legally blind and, in most cases, guys in his situation don't usually even attempt to compete on the gridiron. With Golub, he not only tried, but succeeded, and at the highest level.
Despite his lack of vision, which he in no way uses as a crutch or excuse, Golub is known as one of the top deep snappers in his region. And with that, has been given an opportunity to play college football. This story broke last week when Golub earned a preferred walk-on opportunity at Tulane, which Golub accepted.
"I'm very excited that the Tulane program is giving me a shot. I'm happy to be a part of it and help contribute to the team," Golub tells us. "I thought this school was a better fit for me personally and academically, which in in the long run is more important than football. But I can say that I'm ready to get down there, contribute and help the team win some football games."
Some may read this and wonder how all of this went down. That is an easy answer, which Golub addressed. He says that he worked the recruiting process just like any other prospect. Because of the nature of his position, he attended a well-known national camp for kickers and deep snappers.
For years, Golub has worked with Chris Rubio at his camp. Based on the evaluation of Rubio, Golub is clearly one of the top players at the position. On the Rubio Long Snapping website, its rankings have Golub as a four-star prospect, which computes to a Division II level athlete (according to the scale provided online). With that said, it seems as though Golub has overachieved. "I was contacted by a lot of schools. Tulane just ended up being the fit for me. The coaches offered me and I decided that was the place," Golub says. "I also had an offer from the University of Illinois, but Tulane was the place for me."
So now a new chapter begins, but where did this all start? For one, Golub was blind from birth, and this condition has been something he has dealt with his entire life. His response is that he's simply used to it at this point, and that he wants to move on with life as is.
That's much easier said than done. What's even more astounding is the idea that he plays a position that requires such skill, and more so, precision. One would think that vision would play a major role in being a deeper snapper. And that would be correct. What's also correct is that this is a luxury that has not been granted to Golub. Instead, there is the daily grind of perfecting his craft. There is a feeling, a knowing of habitual movement that plays a factor. And even more so an unwavering belief.
But know that not everyday is a great one.
"It's very difficult, and there are days when you go out and not snapping your best. You have stop and just go at again the next day," Golub says. "It can be very tiring. There are a many days that I don't want to go snap or go lift (weights), but overall I really want to make it so you push through all of it." He continues. "After all of the practices, when you let go of the ball, you know if it's going to be bad or perfect. I can just tell if the snap will be any good, and I can tell where it will end up with the punter. I just know where to aim, which is at the punter's hip. I try to hit it there every time."
Taking everything in consideration, Golub has already taken the student-athlete role to another level, truly. College football is tough enough (the numbers show that less than 5 percent achieve this goal) and Golub is an inspiration, a trendsetter, even though he still considers himself no different than any other kid who loves the game.
It's obvious that he invests plenty of time into becoming a better football player and student. But what does he do when he is not working on his game? This answer may be shocking to many. "When I'm not lifting or practicing snapping, in the winter, I'm a volunteer snow board instructor for people with disabilities."
"Yes, I started skiing when I was really little, and eventually I switched to snowboarding. I would always go to places where people would help me out," Golub said. "As I got older, I decided I wanted to give back and help out others instructors with people with disabilities. My dad and sister volunteer with this also." Wow.
Now that the opportunity is there, new goals are in place for Golub. The first one he mentions is that he wants to earn the starting spot as the deep snapper for Tulane. Then, he wants to continue excelling in his academic endeavors. But mainly, he just wants to be happy and successful.
The work he is putting in continues, and he has shown at every stop that he can defeats the odds. "Really it's as simple as having a goal and wanting to reach it. There's definitely people out there who don't think I can achieve it, and in the past thought that I wouldn't be able to do what I have done. I guess I have proved them wrong," Golub says. "But through all of this, my [Newton] teammates have supported me. They see me as a hard worker and feel that I can be what I want to be. With the negative people, I just don't pay attention to it. I ignore it and just go an do what I have to do."
There's no doubt that the pathway to a successful life is already at play as Golub's mental attitude seems to be one that embodies the principles of high achievers in all walks of life. And while he sees himself as a person seeking success, many would already consider his resume as a successful one.
But as Golub has clearly stated, he is not overly concerned about the outside chatter. It's just a head-down grind, pressing on to reach the next goal. That sounds like a great blueprint…