Written By Lydia Knoll
There are now 94 days remaining until the Indiana Hoosiers kickoff the 2016 season in Miami against the Florida International Golden Panthers. Join us each day for each part of our 100-day countdown to the opener! Current IU player, Derrick Madison, wears #94 so we’ll take a look at his unique football story.
-Weight: 249 pounds
-Hometown: South Bend, IN
Generally speaking, a Division I college athlete possesses a decent amount of experience in the sport they play prior to attending college. Most athletes have played for many years and especially all through high school. Derrick Madison is a unique exception. Not only did he not participate in football specifically, but Madison never played a sport in high school. He had the dream of playing big time college football, and his size gave him the physical ability to do so, but due to his grades and test scores Madison was ineligible for high school sports and didn’t meet NCAA requirements for college sports. So he devised a plan.
Madison began working out at the first of two high schools he attended, Washington High School in South Bend. He worked with the head football coach, Jay Johnson, as well as Washington grad and IU football DB/ special teams player, Justin Nowak. With the help of these two, Madison began coaching the linebackers and defensive line of Washington to help him learn the rules, positions, and technique. Two years later, Madison felt confident that he was ready for college ball. He applied to IU and wrote a letter to admissions explaining that his high school academics didn’t reflect who he is now. In the fall of 2013, Madison was admitted into Indiana University.
However, Madison still didn’t meet the academic requirements of NCAA to play college football so he did the next best thing— a club sport similar to football, rugby. His time playing rugby made him love the atmosphere of a team and the bond between teammates. So the following year he went through walk-on tryouts for football but received no call back. Finally, in his junior year he participated in walk-on tryouts once more and this time received a call. Madison was added to the Hoosier’s roster but was buried four players deep for the defensive end position. Although he never played a snap during a game, he learned a lot and continues to work hard for the day that he may be able to walk onto the field. Madison has two seasons of eligibility left and is continuing to improve as a football player as well as a person. Madison is just one example of how hard work and dedication will help you can accomplish your dreams.
Share any thoughts or encouragement you have in the comments section (or on the message boards) and be sure to come back to Hoosier Huddle each day during our countdown! We also would like to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day. Thank you to all those that are currently serving and those who have served in the past.