For four-star Navasota (Texas) wide receiver Tren’Davian Dickson, all the rankings and media publicity that come with being one of the premier athletes in the country doesn’t matter.
“I don’t really pay attention. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and not everyone’s opinion is right,” Dickson told USA TODAY High School Sports. “They think what they think, some guys have never seen the people that they’re ranking play. They’re going off what they see and hear from other people. I don’t blame ’em, but I also just don’t pay attention.”
All Dickson needs to know is that his hard work has paid off in the form of being honored as a U.S. Army All-American.
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“It feels like, when you’re growing up and thinking about the things you dream of, and then you achieve it and hard work pays off,” said Dickson, who’s ranked No. 20 in the state of Texas and No. 21 at his position. “It makes me want to get better and work ever harder.”
Dickson received his game jersey as part of the Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance on Thursday, saying it’s a great honor to play in a game for the soldiers “who fight for us and give us a better life.”
A Texas commit, the 6-0, 171-pound receiver says he just wants to compete, and compete he will.
The Army Bowl features high school football’s best, and Dickson can’t wait to play with, and against, all of them.
“I just enjoy making exciting plays and putting smiles on the faces of the fans,” said Dickson, who set the national record for touchdown receptions in a season with 39 last year, leading Navasota to an undefeated season and a Texas state title.
He might enjoy putting on a show for the fans, but the Navasota native plays for his family.
“My dad and family are always pushing me, and I want to take care of them and give us all a better life,” said Dickson, who doesn’t want his little brother or cousins to “go through the things I went though.”
“Separated parents, not getting what you want or even need, not having enough to eat, the simple things in life, that’s what I want to give them. I just want to take care of my family.”
It’s not just family motivation that pushed Dickson. A lot of his drive comes from within.
“My self confidence, motivation and drive are what separates me from other players,” Dickson said. “I feel like I want it, all. Some guys are satisfied with just making it, I’m not.”
“When I step out on the field, I wanna be the best. I wanna be the greatest to ever play the game.”
That’s the mindset of an All-American.