It wasn't long ago that Tompkins senior Sean DuBose Jr. started to see that college football could be part of his future if he so desired.
It was his sophomore year, to be exact, when the thought occurred to him.
"People started to realize my potential," said DuBose, who plays defensive end and linebacker. "After lots of training and hard work the summer of my junior year, that potential began to be released. Following my junior season, I made an impact on my team and college offers started to come in."
The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder turned possibility into reality on Aug. 21 when he committed to New Mexico. The Lobos have big plans for DuBose in their 3-4 defense as a linebacker. Lobos linebackers rush the quarterback a lot, and pass-rushing is his specialty.
It's a similar role to how Tompkins defensive coordinator Eric Robinson is using DuBose this year.
"New Mexico gave me so much love," DuBose said. "I think anytime you go somewhere, and the desire is on both sides, it's a win-win. It fits me academically and they run a defense I will fit well into."
DuBose had 40 tackles and eight sacks last season, helping Tompkins to its first district championship. He is quick off the ball and a hard-hitter, fast-paced and passionate.
He plans to be even better this season.
"The offseason was really important for me," DuBose said. "Getting bigger, faster, and stronger is a priority. Not only that, I have gained a lot of knowledge from trainers, influential people like Coach Rob and my family. Last year, we had a great defense, and I played a major role in that. I'm looking forward to having an even greater impact on the team this year."
Humble yet very confident, I don’t talk much I let my game 🗣@Perroni247 @DemetricDWarren @samspiegs @simplyCoachO @MikeWestHTX @othsfalconfb @GPowersScout @MikeWestHTX @justinallen_13 @Beau_Davidson @JoeHamilton__ @CoachSvoboda @CoachDaft @tygatson @COACHJUICE_ @HD7vs7 pic.twitter.com/EC0jFsAjA6— Sean DuBose, Jr (@SeanDuBose5) February 21, 2021
DuBose spoke more with VYPE.
Q: How would you describe the recruiting process? What's the best thing and the worst thing?
A: "The recruiting process is exciting and a bit stressful. It's exciting because you are getting messages from coaches, learning about their programs, and getting positive feedback on your season. The stressful part is making sure you do your homework on the programs that are recruiting you and who really wants you. Then, making sure those colleges and universities are a good fit."
Q: When did you start playing football, and what is it about the sport that you love?
A: "I started playing flag football when I was 4. I loved every bit of it but couldn't wait to start tackle. When I started tackle in first grade, every aspect was great. The team, the coaches, running the ball and tackling, in all honesty, it was all fun. However, nothing compares to the brotherhood of the Tompkins football family. Hopefully, I will have the same experience at UNM."
Q: What is something people don't know about you?
A: "People probably don't know how much I truly appreciate their support and encouragement. I have so many people in life that have supported me. Family, coaches, teachers, friends. It really means a lot to me, more than they know."
Q: What motivates and inspires you?
A: "What motivates me is the amount of passion I have for the game and for my family. People may not know how much my family inspires and pushes me to be better every day. It has helped develop me into the person I am now. I want to have a better life than what they have imagined for me. That inspires me to work hard to make them proud."
Q: What is the mindset like being a leader of a team looking to defend its district championship?
A: "It's a tough feeling, because we have a target on our backs, but we like having that. It really shows the hard work we've put in and how great of a team we have become. But the work is not done. We have to strive to be the best team we can possibly be. We need to keep grinding for that next championship."