Bumped. A cool story that deserves more attention. GO BRUINS. -N
Darius Savage is another fine UCLA athlete who has become successful in different sports. The WWL wrote a nice article about him describing his hectic schedule
There were times during his first spring as a UCLA student when Darius Savage's hectic schedule overwhelmed him. A member of both the football and track and field teams for the Bruins, Savage would spend many of his days darting between two practices: first enduring a couple hours under the hot Southern California sun in full pads at spring football practice, then throwing a discus and shot put around for a few more hours at outdoor track practice. Oh, and there was that little matter of completing all his school work at one of the more demanding universities in America.
Bob Palcic supports Savage's ambitions in both football and track and field.
"I think things have changed across the country not only at the collegiate level, but at the high school level," says Bob Palcic, Savage's offensive line coach at UCLA who also coached Ogden. "We've become so one-sport specific. Coaches always want kids to focus on one sport year-round, and I'm certainly not for that. I always encourage [young] kids to play more than one sport. I hear Darius has a chance at [eventually] making it to the Olympics as a shot putter. I don't want to stand in the way of that."
They also list past UCLA athletes who excelled in more than one sport.
At UCLA, Savage is simply the latest in a long line of gifted multisport athletes. The names of past Bruins who shined in more than one sport reads like a who's who of legendary multisport athletes: Jackie Robinson, who in 1940 became UCLA's first four-sport letterwinner as a member of the baseball, basketball, football and track and field teams; James Owens in the '70s, a 1976 Olympian in the high hurdles and a future NFL running back; Jackie-Joyner Kersee in the '80s, who in addition to her track and field exploits scored over 1,000 points for the Bruins' basketball team; and Jonathan Ogden in the '90s, a sure-fire NFL Hall of Fame offensive lineman who like Savage also threw the shot put and discus. One could make the argument that UCLA is the historical epicenter for two-sport athletes.
The rest of the article talks in length about the coming end of the 2-sport athlete in college and is all in all a good read. There is also a short blurb of one of my favorite Bruins of all time and his struggles as a 2-sport athlete.
Another recent UCLA athlete who managed to ably balance two sports was Danny Farmer. The all-time receiving yardage leader in UCLA gridiron history, Farmer also won two national championships as a member of the men's volleyball team. An L.A. native, Farmer followed in the footsteps of his father George -- the last Bruin to play three sports (football, basketball and track) in the same school year back in the late '60s. Truth be told, though, Danny had wanted to go somewhere else and carve out a different path than his father. But in the end, Danny's determination to play both football and volleyball at the collegiate level raised too many red flags among coaches at other schools, so UCLA became his only option.