By Sean McCollum
Suiting up in the Cougar blue and gold, all Ben could think about was proving himself to every college that passed on him, and he wanted to make sure they realized their mistake.
Ben Seymour is a freshman at COC who is a defensive lineman for the football team.
Although playing college football was a dream of his, ending up at the “JUCO” level was not originally on his agenda.
Seymour was team captain and Foothill League MVP in his senior year as a Viking at Valencia High School, where he is considered one of the best defensive players in the school’s history.
Despite his awards and extraordinary statistics, Seymour was not able to secure the scholarships he desired, and was torn between becoming a home-grown talent as a Cougar, or walking on to the college of his choice.
Facing off against the No.1 team in the country, Mater Dei High School, Seymour was a dominant factor despite the Vikings trailing the entire game. One play in particular was when a
Monarch defender recovered a fumble near mid-field and Seymour, playing on offense, chased down the defender and stripped the ball near the Vikings two-yard line, regaining Valencia’s possession.
This kind of heart and play-making has carried Seymour to the level he is currently at, and the fuel that burns within him has only grown brighter because of his dream to play at the college level.
“I chose to go to COC mainly because I thought it would be better for me and a lot cheaper to go the JUCO route rather than walking on to a four-year,” said Seymour.
“Experimentation is affordable at community college,” said COC spokesperson Eric Harnish.
With the affordability at Seymour’s disposal, he’s able to harness his skills as a defensive linemen, and have the necessary resources available to perfect his craft.
Not only has COC provided Seymour with a cheaper opportunity to showcase his skills at the college level, but the school has always had a reputation for getting players to desirable destinations.
“I had a lot of friends and former teammates there, so that helped me make my decision, Seymour said. “I also chose COC over other JUCOs because they really are good at getting their players scholarships to D1 schools.”
COC not only has a reputation for getting college athletes to the biggest stage in the college level, but many athletes who have attended have ended up in the NFL.
Seymour is following in the footsteps of many current and former professional athletes who have had similar circumstances to him, athletes such as Ravens Wide Receiver, Marquise Brown, Ravens Defensive Linemen, Domata Peko, Buccaneers Defensive Linemen, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Raiders Tight End, Mychal Rivera have all used COC as a stepping stone towards greatness.
“I want to take football as far as I can,” said Seymour. “If that means it ends after this year at COC or after a long career in the NFL, I’ll be happy.”
Having the statistics such as Seymour’s however could definitely lead to success at the professional level. As a freshman, Seymour has started all games played, and leads the already dominant defense with 12 sacks and 19.5 TFL, with the next highest sack statistic only being 4.5.
“I’d say that I play with a chip on my shoulder because I didn’t get the scholarships I wanted out of high school,” said Seymour. “It just makes me want to prove all those people wrong that doubted me.”
Seymour hopes to eventually land at Nebraska University, in the state he was born in, but at the level that his statistics prove he should be at.