Citrus Hill High School
Paul Mesa Jr.
Long Snapper, Offensive Line
6'1", 220 Lbs., 17 Yrs. Old
Football has always been a huge part of my life. Since I was seven I have been involved with football in some way everyday, whether practicing on the field or training in the gym. I have suffered countless injuries and have made many mistakes. Over the years I have become unappreciative of playing but every time I have thought about walking away from playing to save myself from prolonged injuries, I couldn’t. It has taught me hard work, dedication, respect, and has shaped the way I think today, both in the classroom and while interacting with others.
I have been the smallest player on the offensive line and this is one of the places where size matters. From early on I had to focus on being technical because I couldn’t rely on my weight or strength. Before high school I played scared and was intimidated of everyone that was bigger or looked stronger than me. It was the same in the classroom and kids that acted smarter both irritated me and intimidated me.
Once I got into high school, everything changed. I went to a new school where I did not know anyone. The only people I knew were a few kids in the scholars program and on the football team. The only ways I would make friends would be to have confidence in myself and to prove my abilities. I could be the best in the classroom and on the field.
At practice one day my freshman year, the linemen had to go against the defensive ends on the team and everyone was getting anxious to see who could succeed. I had been prepared by my dad from a young age to be successful in this drill. The coach made me go after the first few linemen had little luck blocking the defensive ends. I was extremely nervous because the kids I had to go against were fast and they were both track stars at the school. The first time I went, I got beat and the coach pulled me aside and gave me encouragement. He told me to trust in myself and in my abilities because I could be the best because even though I didn’t have the size, I had the technique. I had trained my whole life to be ready for anything the opposing player could throw at me. I was able to succeed In front of everyone, just after I had been beaten. Being the only lineman that was successful, others were asking me how I could accomplish such a feat. I taught them what I knew and became a leader on the team that day.
I’ve learned that, no matter how many times you get thrown to the ground, you have to get back up. Without getting beat or failing, you get complacent and just accept where you are. Life has taught me to push through my mistakes and become better a better football player but also a better student that can handle failure in a positive, productive way. I’m motivated to study harder and be the best I can be academically. I look forward to playing 4 more years in college. Currently I have likely letters from RPI, Case Western Reserve and Rose-Hulman. I have been told I have coaches support from both Cornel University and Pomona College. Each of which accepts less than 10% of those that apply. Although I have already been out to Cornel twice I am leaning towards Pomona College because it is closer to home where my parents can see every game and it has much smaller class sizes.
Selected for the 2014 Offense Defense All American Bowl in Florida and the All West Footba1l Classic in Temecula.
3 time ALL CIF Scholar, 3 year Team High Academic Award,
2011 Team USA 2011 Youth All State, 2009-2011 Youth All American.
Has passed 5 AP exams with 4 or Better
Member of the Scholars Program,
Ranked in top 1% of class 5 out of 526, with a 30 on ACT
Selected for apprenticeship at University of Wyoming in summer of 2014
Helps at local food kitchens
Helps mentor young long snappers at Snap Hold Kick
November 2014 Student of the month,
All current and former teachers praise his citizenship and leadership in the class room.