Garrick Mayweather: NFL Hopeful, Future Doctor


Two-year captain Garrick Mayweather remains hopeful about his chances to join an NFL team. (PHOTO BY ANDREA GARCIA/THE OBSERVER)


Around this time of year, most students are overwhelmed with their preparation of finals and last minute papers. Now imagine a schedule that also includes preparing for the National Football League (NFL), studying for medical school and several hours of community service a week. Sounds impossible, right? Not for Garrick Mayweather, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’16. He is facing the last minute struggles of a college student as he prepares to graduate at the end of the month with a Bachelor of Science in General Science. Adding to this, he is preparing physically, emotionally and mentally to play professional football on the largest stage in the world. For Mayweather it’s easier this way.

Mayweather grew up in Baton Rouge, La., where he played everything from football to soccer to tee-ball. His love of athletics continued into high school, where he was a four-sport athlete, participating in basketball, track and field, tennis and of course, football. “Athletics has never been separate from my life, they have always gone hand in hand,” said Mayweather. That’s not to say sports were his life. Mayweather said that, while he tackled sports and school with the same intensity, academics always came first and “football was a backup plan to academics.”

The intensity that Mayweather shows on the field for every football game is also needed in the classroom, as he’s majoring in general science while on the pre-medicine track and minoring in Business Administration. For most, balancing these two difficult areas of study would be enough, but Mayweather decided to become a leader on the football field as well. “You don’t have time to procrastinate…as soon as you finish practice and workouts you have to be on it and focused,” he said.

As if this wasn’t enough, Mayweather is also an avid volunteer and community service participant. The Fordham football coaches require players to participate in some form of service every semester, but, as Mayweather put it, the coaches “leave plenty of room to go above and beyond.”

For the past three years, Mayweather has been volunteering at an underprivileged school in the Bronx, doing everything from reading to preschoolers to tutoring older students. Furthermore, for the past two years he has spent Christmas dressing up as Santa and visiting the local children’s hospital, delivering presents and bringing joy to the children.

He views the Jesuits’ and Saint Ignatius’ teachings on social justice and community service as essential aspects of his education, and something that he prides his life on. Mayweather stated that “coming from Baton Rouge, I saw a lot of poverty and suffering, so anything that I can do to give back to those around me, I do.” While Mayweather himself grew up “without ever needing a necessity,” unlike many of us, he came face to face with the this struggle as many of his friends faced hardships growing up. Mayweather believes it is crucial that we help address the problem of poverty in our nation. In the beginning of Mayweather’s recruiting process, Fordham was not high on his list. But the university’s Jesuit values heavily influenced his decision. He said, “It was a feeling I couldn’t deny, I just knew that Fordham would be my school.

[quote_center]“If I got a C in a class, my parents wouldn’t let me to go to practice—they made sure I knew academics came first.”[/quote_center]

Mayweather’s family never pressured him into doing sports, but made sure he knew that school came first. “If I got a C in a class, my parents wouldn’t let me to go to practice—they made sure I knew academics came first.” Mayweather’s father, Garrick Sr., played football throughout his own college career, and even made it to the NFL before becoming a high school football coach. On Mayweather’s mother side, there are plenty of doctors and nurses. In fact, his grandfather is one of the top pediatric psychiatrists in the nation, and a family member who served as the personal doctor to the Sultan of Malaysia. While this did influence Mayweather’s interest in the medical field, he has always had the desire to go into medicine. Initially he was interested in neurosurgery, but Mayweather did not like the death associated with the field, and instead decided on orthopedics.

Mayweather’s service highlights the quality of person he is as did my time with him. While walking around Rose Hill, we could not go 10 feet without him greeting or talking with someone he knew. This ranged from classmates to professors to advisors to a lengthy, personal conversation with a Sodexo employee who made sure to ask for tickets to Mayweather’s first NFL game.

As a two-year captain for Fordham Football, Mayweather has been a leader in every aspect to his teammates. Having 18 starters graduate at the end of last season, the team was going to have to start several freshman, and most critics had written off the team due to their inexperience. However, under his leadership, the team was able to upset the Army Black Knights from the United States Military Academy in the first game of the season.

Mayweather hopes he has had an impact on the younger players and believes that “Fordham is built to win, and if they continue to play with a chip on their shoulder, they will have success far into the future.” Although Mayweather is clearly one of the most talented players, as his NFL recruitment shows,  he does not believe every leader has to be the best player on the field.

The leader that Mayweather looks up to and models himself after is not an NFL player or a famous athlete; rather, it is a former Fordham Ram, Steven Tapia, who was the starter of the same position that Mayweather played when he first came to Fordham. As a junior, Steven was locked in a heated battle for a position with Mayweather, who was a freshman. Rather than ignoring Mayweather, Tapia took him under his arm and taught Mayweather how to become a better player. Tapia’s attitude of putting the team over himself is what inspired Mayweather.

However, his main motivation to achieve success on and off the field is his family. “Making my family proud and doing right by my parents so they can see my success is what motivates me. It makes me happy to see them happy,” Mayweather said. Even with all the inspiration in the world, getting through the daily grind of community service, football practice and classes is still extremely tough. For Mayweather, what satisfies him at night is knowing that at he accomplished something. “Being exhausted at the end of the day is what I want, because I then know that I had a productive day.”

One program that Mayweather made great and brought to the national stage was an organization that he created: The Zero Tolerance for Racism Campaign. He started this initiative in response to the bias incidents across both campuses. With this campaign, he hopes to get the word out, formulate a response and prevent future incidents. After strong support from the Fordham community and beyond, Mayweather created helmet stickers with the group’s symbol—a white zero on a black background—for the team’s nationally televised playoff game.

Even while doing everything a college student could possibly do, Mayweather manages to find time for himself. In his free time, Mayweather enjoys solving puzzles – his latest triumph being an impressive 3D model of The Capitol Building. While watching the news is often on his daily schedule, his guilty pleasure is watching the History Channel, specifically “Ancient Aliens,” which he believes everyone should watch.

One of the facts that most people don’t know about 6’3” Mayweather is that in high school he was a regional champion in tennis. Unfortunately, in his senior year he lost his title to an eighth grader in the semi-finals, but he still plays tennis. He even was challenged to a charity match against one of his professors, Dr. Naison. More recently, Mayweather has had a full schedule of television, newspaper and radio interviews, from Fox Business to NY Daily News to the Fordham Observer and The Ram.

As Mayweather looks towards the future, he said, “I’m not going to have a party or anything. I have never been about the flash, and I’ll just be in my apartment watching the draft with my phone by my side.” While Mayweather might not have been drafted, talking with someone who has so many options in amazing fields, you won’t hear him brag about his enumerated talents or accomplishments; rather, you will hear stories of helping others and trying to better other people’s lives.

Following rookie minicamp, Mayweather was signed as an undrafted free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs. Mayweather will join fellow Rams Isa Abdul Quddus of the Miami Dolphins and Patrick Murray of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the only Fordham football players on active NFL rosters. While medical school may be in the future, he still hopes to use his success on the gridiron to perform well on and off the field.