The Northneighbor News
  • A Football Tale of Determination

  • Brian Albrecht has completed his football career at Ohio University, one he made happen with hard work.

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  • A 2007 Hoover High School graduate has relentlessly pursued his goal.
    “It has been my lifelong dream to play division one college football,” Brian Albrecht said.
    Albrecht didn’t make the Ohio University team as a freshman. This past season, as a fifth-year senior, he received a full-ride football scholarship.
    “I never had any doubts of being able to play college football even though I never started a game in high school,” he said.
    Albrecht has been playing football since third grade when he began in the North Canton Youth league as a member of the North team. He played at North Canton Middle School and was on the Hoover Viking squad all four years of high school.
    After not making the OU team, he said he spent all of his free time the next year working out, running and lifting. He also worked with a professional trainer. Winter quarter of his sophomore year he tried out again and was told he could work out with the team but still had to endure more cuts.
    During this time, Albrecht gained muscle mass, but also continued to grow. He began high school around 5’8”, 145 lbs. and today stands 6’3”, 250 lbs.
    “I feel that I got my work ethic and toughness from Hoover. I was smaller than almost everyone on the team so I would get thrown around a lot. This made me tougher and I developed an attitude on the field that I was the underdog.”
    “This helped me tremendously in college football. I was one of the biggest guys on the field at times, but I still kept that same attitude that I had to bust my butt to beat my opponent. I kept that anger from not playing at Hoover and used it as motivation/fuel every time I stepped onto the field as a Bobcat.”
    Hoover Coach Don Hertler Jr. said, “I give all the credit to him for his drive and vision to play. It was all him.” Hertler said he was proud of Albrecht for taking care of his “unfinished business inside.”
    A highlight from his OU career is when he learned he would be starting against rival Miami University during his first year on the team, he said. “It was kind of hard to believe because I hadn’t started a football game since the eighth grade, and my first start would be as a division one football player in front of 25,000 people at our stadium,” said Albrecht.
    He started on special teams the three years he was on the team. His junior and senior year he played wide receiver and this year he moved to defensive end. He won the ‘hit of the week’ award twice in his junior year and also won the ‘special teams player of the week award’ four times in his career. Albrecht recorded a sack this year against Akron.
    Page 2 of 2 - Albrecht has his name on a plaque in the weight room for the “Super Iron Bobcat Award” for being one of the top four strongest players on the team.
    Ron Collins, coach of the OU kick-off team said, “Brian is a great leader, a high motor guy and the guys really look up to him for that.” He added that Brian was the MVP of the kick-off team and a key component of the team’s success this year. “He got very proficient at running down the field. He made four tackles inside the 20 this year.”
    Albrecht said his proudest moment came two weeks into this year’s season when the coaches told him he would be receiving a scholarship. He waited a week to tell his parents so he could tell them in person. He said it was his payback for all the shoes and food they had bought him.
    Patty and David, Albrecht’s parents, said they traveled to home games, a nine-hour drive from their home in North Carolina, where they moved from North Canton in 2008. Brian’s older sister, Kristen, has also been a big supporter.
    “The journey for Brian has been the thrill of a lifetime for both him and his family. We are not only proud of his athletic accomplishments, but the fact that he has been honored as a scholar athlete,” Patty said.
    This season held its own glory. OU had 10 wins, the most since 1968. On Dec. 17, OU won its first bowl game ever with a down-to-the-last-minute win over the Utah State Aggies, 24-23, in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
    In the first play of the that game, Albrecht made the tackle on the kick-off but separated his shoulder. He was sent to the locker room for X-rays and treatment. In the fourth quarter, he returned to the game and made another tackle and pinned Utah State deep in its own territory. Albrecht said he shouldn’t have been playing but the coaches allowed him to because it was his last game.
    In the Mid-American Conference Championship game, Brian wore jersey number 62 in memory of teammate and friend Marcellis Williamson who passed away in April 2011. Albrecht recovered a fumble during that game. The team dedicated their season to Williamson and his family.
    Albrecht will graduate in March with a degree in communications. He will pursue a career training young athletes.
    “I hope that my story will help others to keep working hard and know that if they put all their effort and heart into something, that anything is possible. I would love to be able to inspire people and hopefully in my future career I will be able to help young athletes achieve their dreams,” he said.
    Albrecht’s football dreams are not ending. He first hopes to recover from his shoulder injury and then see if the NFL, Canadian or Arena football leagues are in his future.