Dreams don’t come easy. They take sweat, sacrifice and committed support from people who believe in you. Follow along as we meet top high school athletes and share their stories of inspiration, support and success. #Get2TheGame
RELATED: More #Get2TheGame videos
School: McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)
Position: Defensive Tackle
Julian Rochester is more than a defensive lineman from McEachern High School. He’s a dreamer. While he has the skills and the drive to land a contract with the pros, Rochester’s other passionate goal is to get his degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Psychology – to be able to help others the same way his trainers have helped him.
“Always stay humble.”
Lifesaver gummies or Skittles
My Dad. He always tells me ‘Keep going, keep grinding. Work hard now, and everything should be OK.’
DREAMS OF GIVING BACK
You’d never guess it from his fierce athletic prowess, but Julian Rochester, defensive tackle from McEachern High School is most often described as a “teddy bear” by friends and family.
The thoughtful, big-hearted lineman is taking his boyhood love for football to new heights – heading to college to work towards his dream of making it in the world of professional football.
But that’s just the start.
“I would love to get a degree in Exercise Science and Psychology. I want to put myself in the position to help other athletes,” Julian says. “I would love to see and grow that potential in somebody else.”
Julian’s commitment to helping others has always been something that has defined his life – both on and off the field. His family and coaches believe it’s a quality that sets him apart as a dreamer, and pushes him to keep achieving new goals.
“Julian inspires a lot of people, especially his teammates. He definitely has the gift of putting his arm around another player, or a young kid, showing them techniques,” says Julian’s coach, Kyle Hockman.
Besides possessing a naturally easy-going personality, Julian’s people-oriented approach comes from the support and advice he’s received from his coaches and his most dedicated mentor, his father.
“My dad is my best friend. He’s always been there for me, and held my hand through every decision I’ve ever had to make. He’s always been the support that I need it my life,” Julian explains.
Together, father and son work towards Julian’s dream.
My dad always told me, ‘Don’t talk about it – BE about it’. So we sat down and made a plan. And when I was offered a scholarship, I realized – this could be real.
“He’s a very good listener – he wants to learn every day,” Julian’s father Michael explains. “I believe in surrounding Julian with positive people. If you surround yourself with people who want what you want, you will be successful.”
With this supportive foundation, Julian pushes forward towards his dream, never forgetting the importance of staying true to himself and honoring the community of people that surround him.
“I make sure to watch what I do and carry myself humbly to show this sweet city the type of person I am – because they all treat me with respect. They love me, and I love my city.”