TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Football is returning to the campus of Stillman College, but it won’t be the Tigers taking the field.
Former Alabama star Chris Goode has launched Goode Elite Prep school to give talented former high school athletes a second chance to earn a college athletic scholarship.
For 18-year-old Diamonta Johnson, the program is his escape from a tough environment in Selma.
“Ain’t much left where I’m from,” Johnson said. “I got to do something on the field. I don’t want to go back to where I’m from.”
Former Tide star and NFL standout Chris Goode says the program can work like a bridge for students.
“This program helps kids get in and get out,” Goode said. “They can stay one semester, sign a four-year scholarship, or go back to a program or whoever wanted them.”
Students in the program will stay on the Stillman Campus in Knox Hall. They will take 6-9 hours of course work as part-time students at the school. Instructors provide ACT and SAT preparation.
Dr. Cynthia Warwick, Stillman’s president, says the program was a natural fit.
“It makes it an easier transition for those, for the type of student athletes to come and then transition to the bigger school,” Goode said. “College teams want to see a guy who’s been in a college environment already and not just staying at home with their mom. They’re in that environment now.”
Athletes in the program will play games at Stillman and at other prep schools and other junior colleges. He says he plans to use his connections to open doors for students.
“I have a lot of the coaches in different programs or friends of mine know different coaches where we can just call and say, ‘Hey, I got a kid I think you need to look at.’”
The opportunity for a second chance through the program means a lot to Atlanta student Rickey Reed.
“It’s the last chance right here, so I give it 110 percent every time we do anything,” Reed said. “I want to achieve a D-1 scholarship.”
The Goode Elite Prep Colts will play their first game at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 10th.They are still looking for student athletes. To learn more, visit their website at goodeeliteprepcolts.com.