Cavalier Corner

October 2015

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IT STARTS WITH YOU THE PATH TO SUCCESS Academics Preparation Competition Service Graduation Lifelong Success ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ he wouldn't even get the chance to prove himself on the field. Head coach Mike London made that clear, which underscored the importance of taking his studies seriously. "This is one of those institutions where you can't do one without the other. You have to have your academics in order to be able to play," Romero said. "He made sure we all knew that academics were just as important as football. "Coach London is big on academics because he's looking past football. He knows at some time in your life, you won't be able to play football. He makes sure we are prepared to be successful off the field." London and his staff stress to the players that if they need help, don't be too proud to ask for it. Virginia is a challenging school, and even the best students can need support. Seeking out assistance was something Romero struggled with at first, and it's just one of the many ways his personality has evolved during his time on Grounds. He recalled situations where fellow students and even professors would want to get to know him or network with the intimidating 6-1, 230-pounder. However, he was "so standoffish that they couldn't come and have a conversa- tion." Eventually, Romero started taking advantage of the opportunities he was provided and the advice he received. "I wasn't an outspoken guy at first," he ex- plained. "I was one of those type of guys that would try to get it done myself, no matter how much time it took. "Coach London let me know that there were people surrounding me that were here just to help me and the rest of the student-athletes. If I had any issues, just go to them, and that helped me tremendously. "At first, I didn't talk in class. Now, I have something to say in every class. My participa- tion points have definitely gone up since un- dergrad. "I just grew up as an individual and as a man. Going through four years of college, I devel- oped academically, my mannerisms developed, the words I used in my conversations developed and my personality developed. I just became more comfortable in the environment I was in." Romero has continued that progression in graduate classes, where he is working towards a master's degree in athletic administration. The new balancing act is not much different from the last four years — he says it's all about time management — although he noted classes are not as big now and require him to participate even more, something he has tackled like an oncoming ball carrier. "You don't want to be the one just sitting in the back every day, not saying anything," he explained. "You just try to do everything in your power for the teacher to know your name, to know who you are and let them know you're interested. "I want to be that standout student and that standout GA." Romero noted that graduating with his

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