Man, it's been a long ride. When I first started writing at Burnt Orange Nation in the FanShots almost exactly four years ago, I just wanted to have one of my posts promoted to the front page. On August 1st, it all came together for me when SB Nation decided to bring me on full time, something that I couldn't be happier to share with y'all here.
Peter Bean saw something in my writing, brought me on, and made me an editor shortly after. That fall, without a lot of prior experience, I started covering recruiting. I only sort of knew what I was talking about, but I only talked about what I did know, so I managed to muddle along and learn a lot along the way.
Since I came on as an editor, I made a lot of sacrifices to keep writing a big part of my life as I became actualized as a person for the first time in my life. But it was always worth it, because I loved the BON community and loved what I was doing. As much as I could have enjoyed writing for the sake of expressing my thoughts, it never would have been worth much if all the fantastic readers here didn't enjoy it and keep me sharp and honest.
My ex-girlfriend, Marisa Cano, deserves a lot of credit for sticking with me and making sure that I believed in myself in the tough moments when I was flat broke or doubting my abilities as a writer. It was a strain on us, but she was always a rock for me.
Back in March, SB Nation brought me on in an increased role covering recruiting in the state of Texas and that eventually grew into the role that I'm starting in now as we continue to grow as a source for recruiting news. Don't worry, I'll still do everything that I'm doing now.
Besides Marisa, I want to thank my family and other friends various and sundry for believing in me and supporting me, but especially BON founder Peter Bean for recognizing whatever writing talent I have, grooming it, supporting me, and ultimately advocating for me.
I don't know where I would be right now without this website, which will always be your brainchild. I can't say enough about everything that you've done for me.
I'd also like to thank our national recruiting analyst Bud Elliott for being a big part of bringing me on at SB Nation Recruiting and for believing in me, even though we've only had the chance to cover one event together. I have no doubt that we're going to do big things at SBN.
A few other people -- Dr. Tom Buckley at UT for giving me a chance to publish my first article at Horns Illustrated on the 1968 team, even though I didn't have a much significant writing experience beyond working for my high school newspaper. I should also thank Mr. Chuck Herber at Jeff High School for allowing me to join The Booster without taking the introductory course. Humble brag: The decision was validated fairly quickly when my first published article won Honorable Mention in the sportswriting category at a Ball State J-Day that year.
I also owe Eric Nahlin a few cold ones. Been good getting to know you this summer, buddy.
As I sit back and try to put everything in perspective, I don't think there's any way that I anticipated four years ago being in this spot today, but as I went along in my journey, it increasing became what I knew I wanted to do. Thanks again to all those who helped me along the way. I couldn't have done it without y'all. I absolutely love this community, and I'm looking forward to giving everyone more of what they seem to like.