As he often does during the quiet parts of the NFL offseason, linebacker Will Compton returned to his home state and engaged in some public speaking.
Specifically, as a local athlete that's gone on to become a professional athlete, Compton was asked to address the monthly Business and Community Luncheon on Thursday at the Farmington (Mo.) Regional Chamber.
Speaking at a podium, with his jersey in front, Compton told the lunch crowd about his journey becoming a football player and the mindset it's taken to get there.
"I remember writing in middle school, 'I want to be the first varsity player as an eighth grader'," he said. "Dreaming big like that, it's always been a part of me to dream that way. It didn't really take fruition, so to speak, [for everyday life] until I got to Nebraska and met Coach Bo Pelini and his staff."
Compton then realized how important the mental game of football was to his success and his progress as a player. He would often harp on the negatives, the judgments from his teammates, rather than the positive things that emerged from games and practices.
But by his senior year, he became determined in gaining a mental edge, and began writing down his goals as he gunned for the NFL.
"Using your psychology as a good thing – as a positive – in all aspects of life from spiritual to relational," Compton said. "My perception is going to be my reality – whether I believe in someone else's ideas or my own."
Now, after finishing a year that saw him earn the starting inside linebacker job – he was also the team's second-leading tackler with 122 and recorded an interception and sack in the team's final two games -- Compton continues to spread his skills and information with youth camps near his hometown.
His third annual camp takes place June 25 – more information can be found here.
"I am fully aware of the value I can have … the imprint I can make on people," he said. "When you are fully aware and conscious that you are in control of your thoughts, that's when your life, work and family takes off from a different perspective.
"We are here for such a short time … how do you maximize yourself out? You might think I sit there and think, 'how can I be the greatest football player of all time?' and that's not what it is. I want to be the best individual I can be."