Roshawn Prear works hard to be a great football player. He works even harder to be a great person.
Not that the junior running back from Grapevine was ever a bad person. But he said when he entered high school, something clicked within him that made him want to do more good.
“I just felt the older I was getting, I needed to grow up,” Prear said. “I realized what you have to do to get ready for college, and I wasn’t doing it. I wasn’t respectful to my peers. I didn’t care that much about studying.
“And I’ve found that being good is a lot easier — and the rewards are definitely better.”
Prear said he looks back now and understands that though he never got involved in any really bad activities himself, he was too close for comfort.
“I wouldn’t be the one doing things like stealing. I never went that far, but I’d lie for those people,” he said. “I look back now and realize that could have been me. I could have ruined my whole future.”
Among the positive things Prear is doing these days is visiting students in the lower grades. He loves hanging out with them and being a positive role model.
“It takes me back to when I was a kid,” he said. “They get all excited to see us, and we love seeing them. Sometimes we’ll go over and read to the kids, or help clean up after an event they’ve had.
“This Friday, we’re going to an elementary school. I can’t wait. That I’m setting a good example for them makes me feel great.”
Life is a lot happier, a lot more relaxed now, Prear said. Well, that is unless you’re an opponent trying to bring him down on the football field.
I knew I was scoring a bunch, but I didn’t want to brag on it ... I did not do that alone, believe me.
Through the first four games of the season, Prear had rushed for 646 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging almost 10 yards per carry. This included 325 yards and six touchdowns in a 66-52 win against Frisco Heritage on Sept. 15.
“I knew I was scoring a bunch, but I didn’t want to brag on it,” he said. “I love my line, and my receivers also block so well. I did not do that alone, believe me.”
Grapevine head coach Mike Alexander said, “On the field Roshawn has matured to the point where he understands the preparation both physically and mentally that is required to be an every down back in 5A Texas football. Off the field, Roshawn continues to develop a higher level of discipline in his life daily. I am certain his best days are still ahead of him.”
Prear began playing football in the fifth grade when he moved from Oklahoma. He played some running back at the peewee level, but moved to cornerback in junior high, before being put back at running back as a freshman.
“My mom was reluctant to let me play at first, but once she saw I could play, I’ve been playing ever since,” he said.
He admits his mother considered taking him out of football, which he argued against. Then, he said, he realized she was right, and if he was going to continue playing he needed to earn the privilege.
He’s also proud that he’s setting a good example for his younger sister, Raney, who is on the dance team and plays volleyball in the seventh grade.
“I want to be someone she can look up to,” he said.
His older brother, Jermaine, also played running back.
“I think it’s cool that I’m playing the same position as him,” Roshawn said. “He was a good player.”
As for college, he said he definitely wants to play at the next level. He is interested in becoming an athletic trainer for a college or professional team, he said.
“I just want to be around football, and I can help people doing this,” Prear said. “I haven’t really asked coaches if anyone is looking at me. I’m waiting and doing all I can, and hopefully it will be enough.”