Former Bolles football player improvising during first college semester

Bolles grad finds ways to practice for college ball despite pandemic
Bolles grad finds ways to practice for college ball despite pandemic

What happens when you have your dreams of playing college football for the first time ripped from you by the pandemic? If you are Simon Brackin, you improvise.

The former Bolles tight end was looking forward to his first year of college football at Princeton, but when the Ivy League decided to postpone athletics in the fall, Brackin’s chance to hit the field was gone. And when Princeton decided that all undergraduate classes would be taken online, so was the chance for an on-campus experience.

So Brackin and some of his freshman teammates decided to create their own dorm feel. 12 football players got together to rent three apartments in Denton, Texas about a half-hour outside of Dallas, so they can study together, work out together and build the kind of chemistry that can make a difference on the football field.

“Originally, we, when we found out that we weren’t going to be able to come up on campus, I knew that I would not be nearly as productive in my house with no one there who’s a college student,” Brackin said. “A lot of the other guys felt that way. And at the same time, we wanted to come together and, make sure that we would work out, get our studies done, but then also just start to build that camaraderie with the rest of the freshman class.”

Brackin says his day usually starts with classes around 10 or 11 in the morning, then he and his teammates hit the gym and then a local high school field.

“We’ll go out and we’ll do we’ll run routes. We’ll do one on ones,” Brackin said. “But then also speed and agility training and then conditioning.”

There has been some talk that the Ivy League would play football in the spring. If that happens, Brackin will get to spend the spring semester on campus. If not…

“We only got the lease until like December 31,” Brackin said. “So if not we would either just extend the extend the lease or maybe we might go live somewhere else for another three to four months.”

Brackin also said that while he was initially disappointed to lose his first fall season, he realized that because athletes will not lose a year of eligibility, that means he can go to Princeton for four years, paly football for three, and if he’s good enough, still have a year to potentially play at a Power 5 conference, which has always been his dream.

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