Football players to do 24 pushups

Madison Davis

Elias Maki
Students holding up No. 24 at the candlelight vigil remembering Robert Greys on Jesse Rogers Promenade on Sept. 21, 2017. File photo by Elias Maki

To honor the legacy of student-athlete Robert Grays who died last year in a football accident, the football players have invited the campus community to commemorate Grays by doing 24 pushups at the end of their practice Sept. 19 at 5:45 p.m. on the practice field.

Junior Jovane Parkinson was on the sideline the night Grays sustained his life-ending injury. Parkinson said that he and Grays played the same position and looked after each other the way that brothers would.  

“The pushups are a daily thing for us,” said Parkinson. “It’s a daily tribute to Rob. So, for the one year mark of his death we wanted to invite the entire school to join in and be 24 Strong with us.”                                                                                       

Strength and conditioning graduate assistant McKenzie Smith  said she walks into the weight room everyday and looks up at the banner displaying Grays’ picture, a subtle reminder that she’s soon to have a weight room full of football players who have someone to work hard for.

“The 24 strong pushups all started with Jake Landon, who was the previous head strength and conditioning coach,” said Smith. “He really wanted to make sure that Robert was never forgotten by the players on the team and by doing pushups, I’m reminded of how Robert lived his life and it makes me want to be a better person every single day.”

The coaching staff, such as assistant coach and Defensive coordinator Rich Renner, said he is encouraging everyone on campus to join in on their daily routine of remembering Rob.

“I’m doing the 24 pushups in remembrance of Robert and what he stood for as a teammate, a student, and the way he lived his life full of energy and passion,” said Renner.