Playing football at the collegiate level is an achievement young athletes dream about. However, getting to that level is not a guarantee.
A.J. Krawczyk, junior safety, began his college football career at Texas State as a walk-on his freshman year. Krawczyk was not guaranteed a spot on the team, and he sat out as a redshirt.
Although he began as a running back and wide receiver, it was not long until Krawczyk switched to the safety position.
“The transition wasn’t too bad,” Krawczyk said. “I have great coaches that allow me to work into what I need to. If it weren’t for the coaches, it would’ve probably been harder to transition.”
In his second year, Krawczyk played in four games. It was not until last season that he saw more playing time.
Krawczyk earned a scholarship before the 2016 season began, and played in 10 games that season.
“It was huge,” Krawczyk said. “I’ve always been working toward that and to finally reach that goal is pretty big.”
Since earning his scholarship, Krawczyk has started in all of the games in the current 2017 season.
“It’s pretty big,” Krawczyk said. “Just to have coaches trust me like that is pretty big. It’s a big responsibility even if you only touch the field for one play.”
Getting to the level where he now was not easy for Krawczyk.
“Working with coach A.B. in the summer has been the biggest part,” Krawczyk said. “He’s been pushing us over the summer in those hot days. That’s pretty much what’s worked us up until now in the season.”
Although Texas State was the only Division I school that accepted Krawczyk to walk-on to a team to play football, being a Bobcat is a choice he will always be grateful for.
“My favorite part about playing football at Texas State is getting to be a part of a family and getting to meet new people,” Krawczyk said. “These people are going to be my best friends and family for the rest of my life so it’s just an add-on to my family.”
In addition to his coaches, his teammates have also had a major impact on him.
“The morality of the team keeps me positive and people pushing me on both sides; my family and my teammates,” Krawczyk said. “My coaches are really good about that, too. Both of my parents come to my games too so it’s pretty cool.”
Being a part of the team has helped Krawczyk become the athlete he is today.
“I would say my teammates keep (me) positive,” Krawczyk said. “Our coaches say ‘fight on,’ which is just: fight on and drive on. The next play is the most important. The most important part of the season is the next game.”
As an upperclassman, Krawczyk tries to embody humility and be a role model for the underclassmen.
“I hope to influence the people on the field under me to do it right and do it right all the time,” Krawczyk said. “I would say everyone on the team is a role model. Even if you have the smallest part on the field, you still influence everybody else just as much as the next person.”
The 2017 season is almost halfway over and Krawczyk continues to focus on one game at a time.