By Alex Wilcox, Contributing Writer
Redshirt junior linebacker Carl Rider from Suwanee, Ga. was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District four team last week.
“It was a great honor,” Rider said. “I felt grateful that all the hard work I put into the classroom could be recognized alongside my work on the field.”
Rider, who is no stranger to accolades both on and off the field, was named to the SoCon Academic Honor Roll at the conclusion of the 2014 season.
Balance was what Rider cited as the most integral part of having a successful student-athlete experience. In addition, Rider believes prioritization is a large part of his success.
“When I’m at football, that’s the only thing on my mind, [and] when I’m working on assignments, I block out everything else and I only worry about that one thing,” Rider said. “Trying to succeed at both [school and football], you have to make sacrifices.”
A humble mindset carries Rider in life, paying more attention to his mistakes on the field than his accomplishments.
“I make mistakes in every game and I probably look at those more than I do my individual accomplishments,” he said.
When asked how he felt about this season’s individual stats being impressive within the conference (sixth in tackles and top 20 in tackles for loss), Rider was not even aware of the ranking.
Rider’s hard work and dedication in the classroom fuels the fire he plays with on the field and vice versa, a work ethic he learned from his childhood sports.
“You have to work hard at a young age in sports, and I transitioned that to school,” Rider said. “You get out what you put in.”
Rider relishes the challenge of spinning the many plates that Furman life demands as he nearly thrives with the pressure and heavy workload that is set before him.
Despite struggles the team has faced this season (4-6), he strives to make the team better day in and day out at practice with hard work and a positive attitude.