For Indian Land’s defensive back, the path to becoming a Division 1 athlete was a little different.
John Gregory wasn’t just focused on high school football. He also played basketball and ran track.
“His path brought him to football, that is what he loved,” said mom Krisma Gregory.
She said while she always had a connection to her son with track, a pivotal moment during the summer as her son, then a rising junior, prepared for football summer camp. While dad James Gregory was away, mom stepped in to help. The two marked pathways on the side of their house with spray paint marking off yard lines to improve his 40-yard dash.
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The hard work payed off, as Gregory ran a 4-5 at the Pittsburgh Camp, which then led to an offer from Ohio University and Georgia State.
“I was like, ‘He did it,’” Gregory’s mom said with a proud smile.
On Thursday, Indian Land High School student signed a letter of intent to play cornerback at Ohio.
“I wanted to be a role model to the younger players on the team,” Gregory said. “That was my goal my entire life to go D1. I am glad I can set the example, saying it is possible for most of the kids at my school.”
Gregory said thanked head coach Horatio Blades for his commitment and belief in him.
“Coach Blades is the best coach anyone could ask for,” Gregory said. “He pushes you past your limit, helps you get to the goals you want to get to and he’ll be real with you. He’ll tell you know if it’s possible or not possible based on what you’ve been doing with your life. He’s a fantastic person.”
He also expressed gratitude to his teammates for playing as unit, and ultimately securing a successful ending to their season.
Patience was something Gregory learned shortly after he decided to fully commit to football.
“I’ve just been patient with all of my offers because you do not know how coaching changes can affect things,” Gregory said. “If something comes up in that could affect your choices, so I did not want to make my choice quick. I wanted to think it through and make sure it was the right choice for me. Because in the end, it’s where I have to be for the next years my life.”
He has decided to sign, graduate early and start in January.
“I’m extremely proud of him to know now that he’s taken the first step to complete all of his dreams,” his father said. “It’s inspiring to me as his father. He found a place that he really loved. He can’t even put in into words what it means to him to being going to Ohio University to become a Bobcat. The decision was in his heart.”