Corey Crooms, wide receiver and 2024 NFL Draft prospect, shares his path from the moment he picked up his first football to training for the pros.
Crooms shared the moment he first got into playing the sport, “When I first started playing football it was because of my dad,” said Crooms, “we had driven past a park where there was organized football being played. He literally just asked me the question of ‘Do you want to play football?’ ‘Do you want to try that out?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ Then we just took a shot at it not knowing what I was getting myself into, but yeah that’s basically where it started.”
As Crooms got older it got more real.
“As it went on, and I got older, I just started thinking more and more about the college level of it and wanted to go Division 1, and it started getting more serious after I went Division 1 and I started thinking about the league,” shared Crooms, “so it kind of trickled down.”
Crooms shared his high school experience.
“Everyone in high school that played football, we all were the same and grew up as the same little kids in the same neighborhood playing against each other on different little league teams,” expressed Crooms, “when we got to high school we just came in saying that we were going to take over the school and make history, which we did.”
He had support from mentors such as his high school head coach, Morgan Weaver.
“Coming into it was an easy transition knowing that we all were friends and we knew what we came in to do,” said Crooms, “the coaches that I had, they were actually asked to come to our games when we were little and at the little league games and they have been like family since. It was basically like we were just playing for our uncle.”
Corey started playing at the college level for Western Michigan University. Here is when Crooms described as when the biggest challenge of “patience” arose.
“I played as a true freshman but I wanted to start and I didn’t start till my sophomore year, which wasn’t long but I still wanted to just come in and be the starter and be the guy, but I knew I had to take a step back and just learn from other guys,” said Crooms.
However, that was not the only obstacle.
“The outside noise and people not wanting to see you win,” said Crooms, “I just have to know how to block all that out and fall back on my support system that I had at home and rely on them.”
Towards the end of college Crooms expressed that transitioning colleges is not always easy. Crooms transferred from Western Michigan University to the University of Minnesota.
“We had been brothers that we played with for like three years, that was hard,” said Crooms.
He shared the process of transferring schools.
“The easy part was wanting to find something better and I felt like Minnesota was something that could do that for me and excel me and take me to new and higher places,” said Crooms.
In the future, Crooms would like to use his success to get together and do something for his childhood community.
“Whether it’s a camp or just making something around the neighborhood where kids can go to play football and work on their skills,” shared Crooms, “be able to give back to my neighborhood and let them see me at the highest stage because it gives them hope that they can do it too.”
In the past he has volunteered at hospitals, reading to children in classrooms, and providing food to the homeless.