I'm lucky enough to coach a youth flag football team. I could end this fan post with that statement alone and any of you who have ever coached youth sports would understand nothing else needs to be said, cause that's cool all by itself!. But I like to talk so what the heck!
My QB's Dad recently became an NFL agent and has a few cool prospects. He's also a Cowboys fan so it's been fun to pick his brain. What's really cool is he's from Russia and has brought several unique prospects to the States. One in particular is really intriguing.
I have been lucky enough to meet him and chat a bit. He's a very cool guy and is definitely a RKG. But enough of my yapping, it's possible NFL Network will be telling his story and I've been copied on the chatter. I was encouraged to post it here as the more press the better for him. No matter if he ever makes it to the NFL, the dude is a bad ass and I wish him the best.
He was once the #1 ranked Sumo Wrestler in the world, I'd think he could hold his own in the trenches. His is a very cool story, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. In his own words, broken English and all, Meet Sos...
I, Soslan Gagloev will be a great addition to your NFL Network story. Transferring from the University of South Florida to the new NAIA Warner University football program was a significant transition but nothing I was not used to. The 6'5 315 pound once defensive lineman now turned offensive lineman began his football career after a long distinguished career in Sumo Wrestling.
I have competed at the highest levels of professional athletics since my youth. As an elite-level Junior-Olympic wrestler since my early teens for my native country Russia, I gained international recognition and transitioned into the professional sport of sumo wrestling. My meteoric rise through the challenging divisions of Japanese professional sumo was astounding.
When I was 18 years old I attained "sekitori" (or elite) division status becoming the youngest non-Japanese sumo wrestler ever to do so. Many Japanese begin professional sumo around the age of 14, which makes their age records difficult to beat, but I was the youngest to attain the elite level among all non-Japanese. At the age of 19, I was already pitted against the highest-ranked professional sumo wrestlers. I had top matches against the then Grand Champions. I had virtually reached the very pinnacle of professional sumo.
The following link describes my journey and how my integrity was questioned but verified over time due to scandals within the Japanese Sumo community. Through resilience,i have overcome many controversies.
I have worked hard over the years with many glimpses of success but many trials i have had to surmount including the unfortunate death of my father back in Russia following my arrival in the U.S. right after committing to the University of South Florida.
Once Coach Holtz was released, the new coaching staff decided not to renew my scholarship. It turned out to be a blessing as I committed to Warner University where I displayed my abilities to play both sides of the ball by converting from defensive tackle to offensive tackle although at the NFL level I will be best suited as an offensive guard. I have trained over two years under the tutelage of speed guru Coach Tom Shaw at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports and will continue to do so as i prepare for my Pro Day. USF has agreed to allow me to showcase my talents at their Pro Day in Tampa, Florida on March 10th.
I am a versatile athlete who epitomizes the warrior spirit via his affliction-filled journey to accomplish becoming an NFL player. I will be one of the top performers and hardest workers at any camp, I get invited.
Below is my football highlights from this year
Also, some Q&A he participated in...
· What are your deepest personal struggles & what odds are you working to overcome? My struggles vary immensely. I was once on top as the number one ranked sumo wrestler in the world fighting in Japan but with my Russian nationality scandals took place that had me leave the sports to save my life. I came to America to pursue football. Being an immigrant to the United States there was an automatic language barrier and I faced some prejudice. The day I was excepted into the University of South Florida to play football my father passed away. It has been very difficult. Then when Coach Holtz was released the new coaching staff did not bring me back on the team so I had to transfer to a small NAIA program in its first year of football.
· What sacrifices have you made for football? What sacrifices do you continue to make? I was married. I had big contracts in Japan and was very successful since the age of sixteen. When the scandal took place, and I came to the U.S. to play football things got tough financially and she left me. I have not seen my daughter in a long time. She is back in Russia. I miss her and my mother back home. I will see them more and take care of them when I am successful here with football. I am very talented and fearless.
· Why is football important to you? What does football represent in your life? Football is important to me because I love competition. It is an avenue to a bigger and better style of living. Football represents to me the American Dream, the American way of life. I love the U.S. culture. I love football.
· What personal mistakes have you made that may have affected your football path? No mistakes with football. Everything happens for a reason. I was in a completely different sport and was successful. Sumo began great and ended bad. Football has started bad but will end great for me.
· What are you doing to change things for the better? I lost my sumo weight dropping a hundred pounds in 3 months. I am always training. I work on both offensive and defensive skills. I train at the top facility for football in Kissimmee, FL at Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports under Coach Tom Shaw. I pray and focus on good things.
· What would it mean to you and the people closest to you if you made it onto an NFL team? It has not been a one man show. I have had support from God and the friends He put in my life such as Nodirbek Talipov, Tom Shaw, college coaches and other key people who have taken care of me here. Now NFL teams like me and I will show them I have what it takes to be a great NFL player. The people closest to me will be very happy and the sacrifices they made for me would have been worth it.