Most athletes who play power five football, dream of that opportunity their entire lives.
However, that was not the case for Lausanne kicker Max Gilbert.
“I never thought that I would be a football player. I was like I want to play soccer, soccer’s been my goal my whole life,” said Gilbert.
This spring, Gilbert will officially be a part of the Tennessee Volunteers football team, but this opportunity almost didn’t happen.
“We approached him to play football in eighth grade his mom was, no he’s not doing it,” said Chris Jordan.
Getting gilbert’s mom on board took some politicking.
“They didn’t have a kicker and all my friend’s moms were like just let him play so they convinced her to let me play,” said Gilbert.
Fast forward to this year, when Gilbert officially received his offer from Tennessee, and guess who was the most excited...
“Coach called me and offered me, I just called my mom and she was crying she couldn’t believe it,” said Gilbert.
But the road to this point wasn’t easy.
Amidst a record-setting junior season, with Gilbert garnering attention from college coaches he faced adversity in the most unlikely way possible.
“We had attempted a long field goal and the coach was like do you want it and I was like yeah let’s just go for it and I made it. It was the school record, close to the county record and in the celebration tore my ACL, and immediately at that moment I was in shock,” said Gilbert.
However, Gilbert didn’t allow the bump in the road to stop him.
After a grueling rehab in the offseason, Gilbert made it back for his senior season with the Lynx and now, is looking forward to a successful college career.
“To see him get what he’s worked so hard for was awesome. Super proud, super happy, you know happy for him,” said Jordan.
Proving trading the soccer ball for a football was the right decison.