Isaiah Macklin is beginning his senior year at the University of Central Arkansas; he started playing on UCA’s football team after transferring from a junior college.
This will be Macklin’s third year on UCA’s football team. On the team, his position is defensive back. Defensive back players serve as the final line of defense when the opposing team runs with the ball towards the touchdown line. This position also covers the opposing team’s offensive players who try and catch balls passed to them.
Macklin recognizes that playing football during college is no easy feat. The football team practices not just during the school year, but also practices four days a week during the summer and is required to do yoga every Wednesday.
During football season in the fall, the team practices on Sundays as well as Tuesdays through Thursdays. Teams play in games on most Saturdays during the football season and many of these games are played in different states.
Macklin’s favorite part about football are the games. Despite the pressure from playing in front of a crowd, he loves the environment of the games.
In order to prepare for games, the team watches videos of the opposing team playing in other games, forms a game plan, and attends practices. Football doesn’t just consist of practice; there are many lessons that can be learned by playing the game.
“The main lesson I’ve learned from football is accountability,” Macklin said. “It really translates to life well because you always have to look yourself in the mirror before you can move forward.”
Macklin said he also learned that football doesn’t allow people to take shortcuts..
Macklin also spends a great deal of time on schoolwork. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in business management.
“Juggling classes and football is extremely difficult,” Macklin said.
His schedule demands that he pay attention to the due dates for his school assignments while also knowing what his coach expects from him each week.
Having played for 14 years, football is a major part of Macklin’s life. He started playing the game in third grade when he was seven years old.
“Besides my love for the game, my dad is the reason why I stuck with football,” Macklin said. It was his father’s interest in football that spurred in Macklin a love for the game.
Macklin wants football to remain a major aspect of his life. After graduation, he hopes to work for ESPN or become a football coach.
The upcoming UCA football season consists of 12 games and will last most of the fall semester. The first game of the season this year is on Thursday, August 29, at Western Kentucky University, and the last game is against University of the Incarnate Word on November 22.