Yesterday was the beginning of something major for me because I always wanted to begin a website but I never followed through and to see myself simply get the tires rolling was amazing.
Yesterday I also gave you an introduction about what this site will be about and a little about who I am. So today, I’m going to dive a little deeper into the “me” portion, just to explain some more history on how we got here.
On September 12th of 1988, the wonderful superwoman known as Pamela Collier gave birth to her one and only kid known as Jeryn Jamaal Collier. I was born in the small in size (population of around 2,000 people) but large in swagger city of Colquitt, Georgia, known for it’s friendly people, welcoming hospitality and great murals.
Being raised in a small city environment provided me with the support and work ethic to defeat odds in any situation. Through school, I played multiple sports. I did baseball through elementary, tried basketball for a season in middle school and played football through high school. Initially, my mind was wrapped around being a professional athlete. And I felt as if nothing would ever hold me back from that.
Before my senior year began, I felt as if playing Division 1 football would come easily, even though I was a 5’9″ linebacker. It’s just where my level of arrogance was at that time. I was already getting Division 2 letters of interest so I felt as if it was guarantee for me to make it. But that arrogance was broken down severely in the first game of senior season. I can remember the play like yesterday. I was playing defense at linebacker and my job was to fill the gap. I did my job, met the running back in the hole and BAM!
All else I forgot because in that moment is when I received my first concussion. Supposedly, I was in a dream like state for around 3 or 4 hours. I had no idea where I was or who I was. After coming back out of it, I was told these things and it scared me. Before I had no idea what a concussion was but after that experience, it lingered with me for the rest of my football career. I never gained the same drive that I had before back because the question was always in my head: Can it happen again?
Though still kind of traumatized by the concussion experience, I did still have a love for the game because I knew football would lead me to achieving my goals. So I kept at it that season and though I didn’t go to a Division 1 or even Division 2 school, I did sign to an NAIA not far from home called Faulkner University, located in Montgomery, Alabama.
At the time I felt as being closer to home would be good thing for me because I was still able to play ball and at the same time, still see my family whenever. But after being redshirted my first season there, it granted me the ability to come home every weekend which sounds good and all but it led to me never actually gaining the independence to even be productive on my own. This also eventually led to me going through a period of negativity because I felt as if I was a failure at sports due to me not going to the schools I thought i would make it to.
After having talks with my mom, we decided to take a break from sports and just to go back to Georgia to kind of re-evaluate things. And thats what I did, for 2 years. In this time, I was able to get back on course and become once again motivated to do big things in life. But my mom knew big things can’t be accomplished when your comfortable.
I salute my mom for several reason, whether that be raising me on her own as a single mother, always remaining positive no matter what happens, being resilient through all the stresses of life, whatever. The list can go on and on. But one of the biggest things I can salute my mom for is recognizing that her child’s dreams are more important than his physical presence, meaning that my mom wanted me happy more than she wanted me at home. And not that it’s a bad thing but a man can’t grow in boy’s position.
So I started sending out my highlight film to every school in the country, from the smallest junior college to the largest Division 1 program and our goal was to find a school that was the furthest away from home so I couldn’t just be a driving distance away. And though nobody understood it at the time, my mom and I knew that it was best.
I received several calls and letters but none of them seemed right. Of course some were far but they weren’t “it.” And after a few months of waiting, I received a letter in the mail from Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri. Something about Kansas City sounded thrilling more than the football part so I was all in. Without even the first visitation, I signed my letter of intend and in the August of 2010, me and my family went road tripping.
Once I arrived at Avila, I felt alive again. There was no homesickness because I truly felt at home. I was around new people, new faces and new opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, Montgomery was new also but it was new at the wrong time. I wasn’t mature enough to understand at that time and now, I was given another chance and I had no one to thank but our God and the support of my family.
Though I felt a new energy, I still felt as if something was missing. Through college, I spoke with my grandmother alot. I still can remember her always reminding me of the things I was missing that went on with the family and that’s when I would kind of get down because I was missing that love in my life. I had everything else but I had nothing to physically show love to day in and day out. So I prayed that God would provide me that and on February of the following year, he gave me much more.
On February 20th of 2011, I met what would become Mrs. Collier also known as Kendra Collier, my now wife. There’s no actual words to describe what she is to me other than EVERYTHING. From the day we met, she hasn’t been able to get rid of me haha. She has always and continues to support all that I do and does it with no hesitation. I couldn’t ask for a better wife and I thank God that she’s in my life. I was always told to marry someone like your mom but with her love for Tupac and making me come to shut off the TV in the bedroom when she’s already there, I think I took what I was told too serious. We’ll also be celebrating our two year anniversary in a little over two months which is wild to think about.
Following our college careers, we moved back to her hometown of Wichita where we currently reside. And in the move to Wichita, I was adopted by her great family and her wonderful parents who I call Mama and Papa Crow. These two have treated me exactly like one of their own children, if not better haha. I can’t lie. There are days where I miss my family crazily but I must say that my new additions makes an amazing replacement for the things I miss back home.
All of this kind of brings us to today. I currently work as a paraeducator for USD 259 at Isely Traditional Magnet and this makes my fourth year there. I still have much bigger dreams to accomplish and through this blog, you’ll have a court side seat to watch me do bigger, better and brighter things as I continue life Da Jay Way. Thanks for reading.