I could not have found a more perfect school for what I want to do that helps connect to my past and open my future. I grew up in a family where football was not only the source of income but also what we revolved our lives around in the Kidd household. My father has worked in the NFL for over 18 years and several years in the NCAA as a scout or director of player personnel. His dad — my grandfather — is a Hall of Fame college football coach at Eastern Kentucky University, where he coached for more than 50 years and won 316 games over the course of his career. Ever since I was little I wanted to be just like my dad and follow in his footsteps of being an evaluator for teams. I have witnessed firsthand all the glory and heartaches that come through sports. From winning Super Bowls with the New England Patriots to being jobless, I have seen and been through it all with my family. However, through everything, the one constant is that football is family. My goal is to one day work in the NFL and playing football here at JCU — where several football coaches or personnel guys have come from — made it the perfect fit for me. I know that playing football here and going to school is the best thing I can do to help set myself up to achieve my dreams and continue the family tradition.
At first when I was deciding what school to go to, I had a narrow-minded attitude of just playing DI football. My big break came my junior year of high school when after my spring campaign I was offered a scholarship. I can remember getting off the phone with the receivers coach and crying my eyes out realizing my dream had come true. Fighting through adversity and all the hard work had paid off. In the end though, there were smaller schools interested and the one that caught my eye the most was John Carroll. I had heard of it before because of people my dad befriended in the NFL. I went on a visit and after seeing the school, and hearing about the tradition and all JCU could do for me, I knew that I had to be a Blue Streak. The decision I made on January 24, 2016, was the best decision I could have made for not only myself, but for my dream of carrying on the Kidd legacy of being in the football business.
How would you describe the Division III student-athlete experience?
All the guys out there on the field are there because they love football. No one is on scholarship or making money but just out there for the love of the game. Also, it is NCAA football so it is just as competitive as any other level of football.
Has your athletic participation shaped your educational experience?
Athletics is a true testament to John Carroll’s ideals to develop intellect, character, leadership, and service in its students. In football, we prepare all week whether it be in meetings creating a game plan or practicing it on the field. It takes intellect to create and execute a game plan. Football truly forges character by all that it takes to play and have a successful season. It takes a special type of committed person to buy in and do all he can, no matter what, to help a team reach success. Leadership is brought out in the game through those tough circumstances whether it be finishing a long day of lifting, practice, and meetings, or driving the ball down the field in two minutes to beat Mount Union. Leaders are born in those stressful environments. For service, we all as brothers on that field sacrifice and serve each other and our coaches so that the overall team is successful rather than only ourselves.
Is it hard to balance school and sports in college?
The key to balancing anything is time management and a positive attitude. Set your priorities and be positive and constructive about getting things done. If you can do that then there should be no problem.
What’s “next” for you?
My goal is to play football here and do anything and everything to help this program only continue to achieve success. Also, I hope to get more involved with service in the offseason and expand on the leadership program. Along with that, my goal for the future is to graduate with a degree from John Carroll University with a major in sports studies and a minor in leadership.
What advice do you have for a high school student who wants to play a sport during college?
I would tell them to be “all in” and committed to the program no matter what. It is going to be hard but if you make the commitment, stick with it because the reward and experiences are priceless.
Specifically, why should a high school student choose John Carroll?
John Carroll is the best school because of what it can do for you. The school takes incredible care of its alumni and helps us as students get to where we need to be to achieve our dreams. Through relationships and experiences at JCU anything is possible.