Deck: One of the premiere high school football training programs has helped several athletes reach the top of the mountain in football including Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Matt Judon
Matt Judon wasn’t your high profile five-star athlete coming out of high school. He wasn’t the biggest name entering the 2016 NFL draft, but that didn’t stop him from working and continuing to work even harder to achieve his dream.
He started at West Bloomfield High School and excelled there, but didn’t get the recognition as the offers didn’t pour in during his recruitment. It didn’t matter as he would find a home at Grand Valley State University. However, to even get that point, he needed that extra help to take his game up another level and the Rising Stars Academy provided that.
“It was always more spirited competition because we didn’t have too many offensive or defensive linemen out here,” said Judon. “I was playing more corner and safety and learning about the defense and how it’s supposed to look. It was all about competition and knowledge when I was out here.”
Since his times at Rising Stars, it has continued to blossom and grow as more athletes around the Great Lake State have began to train under the guidance of Reggie Wynns.
“It has grown a lot and he is doing well for kids. I wish I had these opportunities growing up, but I’m glad for Coach Wynns and everything he’s done and all the hard work he’s put in at the Rising Stars Academy.”
“It is so easy to get your friends to go out and party, hang out, play video games, but it is so hard to get so many people in one place that are willing to work and give effort. He gets these kids out here and gives them the opportunity to compete against other kids and from other schools.”
Judon joked he wasn’t 6-foot-3, 275-pounds during his high school days, but followed the right path and now his dream has become his reality.
“I just took the proper steps,” said Judon. “It was a journey and hard work, but what I can tell you is that I just took the right steps. I had an injury, went to a small school and it was a lot of looking up, but I did take the right steps and I am blessed to be where I am today. Right now, I’m living my dream.”
Wynns has been one of those biggest steps to getting to where he’s at today and he was also with him during that surreal moment of finding out he would be an NFL player.
“I was actually in Coach Wynns’ living room with my family,” said Judon. “We were all waiting for the phone call and it felt like an eternity, but I had been waiting for this moment for so long. I can’t explain the emotions that were going through me and the chills. It was just a release of emotions when it happened because I wanted it for so long.”
Judon was selected by the Ravens in the fifth round (146th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft
In his first season, he finished with 27 total tackles and four sacks for the Ravens. The next step is to have even an bigger season next year, but it all started with the first step at Rising Stars Academy.