UP CLOSE: With Pompano Beach Elys Andrew Bain
ANDREW BAIN IS A CUT ABOVE
Pompano Beach Ely two-way lineman Andrew Bain may be like no other in the state of Florida. In fact, finding a total package like this senior-to-be, may be tough to duplicate.
This well educated, 6-3, 336-pounder, has outstanding grades (3.6 grade point average), is tremendously strong (465 bench, 35 reps of 185), quick (5.1) as a cat and has the backing of his entire family – 100 percent!
I sat down with Bain, his father, Arthur, and his mother, Vergie, for a talk about football, recruiting, academics, college and life.
To say there is a more well-rounded high school athlete in the state of Florida would be wishing for dreams that may not exist. Already pointed in a positive direction, Bain has been playing a sport, that could one day make him millions, for just three years. But over 100 colleges are looking to get his name on a contract (scholarship) next February.
Because he was too big to play youth football, Bain experienced basketball, baseball and soccer in his Lauderdale Lakes neighborhood.
Here are the questions and answers that Bain and his family shared their thoughts about:
FLORIDA KIDS: What has been so special about the recruiting process?
ANDREW BAIN: It's been an experience that I have watched from afar, but never envisioned that it would be an every day event like it has.
FLORIDA KIDS: Have you found it hard to concentrate on the spring and finishing up your junior year in the classroom?
ANDREW BAIN: No. Thanks to my parents, I have learned how to balance my life in the right way.
FLORIDA KIDS: Before you got to Ely, you never played organized football before, are you surprised at the success you've achieved in the first three years?
ANDREW BAIN: In my family, there is a strong belief that if you work hard and do your best, good things will come. I have been taught good work ethics in the classroom and on the athletic field.
FLORIDA KIDS: When you got to high school, did you play junior varsity as a ninth grader?
ANDREW BAIN: No. I have started at the varsity level since my first year.
FLORIDA KIDS: Of the season-ending losses to Lakeland, Venice and Delray Beach Atlantic, which one was the toughest to experience?
ANDREW BAIN: That's easy. The loss to Atlantic was painful because I was injured and had to watch from the bench. I felt that if I could have played, we could have won. It was so tough to watch.
FLORIDA KIDS: People say that your senior class (2003) is perhaps the most talented in the state. Is there a lot of pressure for the Tigers to win it all next season?
ANDREW BAIN: I don't think so. Coach (Steve) Davis has told us not to mention Tallahassee and the state championship at all.
FLORIDA KIDS: Two years ago, at the end of your freshman year, colleges from all over the country flooded your campus to look at Sterling Hicks. What experience was that for you?
ANDREW BAIN: Being so young, it was tough to really comprehend it. I know that it was fun to see all those colleges come around every day.
FLORIDA KIDS: Now that it's you, does it still seem like a lot of fun?
ANDREW BAIN: Well, the way I look at it is you are going through this once, so take in every moment. There will never be another time like this.
FLORIDA KIDS: Does it get tiring to receive calls from media outlets, recruiting services and coaches who want an answer from you about what college you are going to?
ANDREW BAIN: Not tiring, but frustrating if someone misquotes what I say. It makes my team and me look bad if something isn't accurate.
FLORIDA KIDS: Mr. Bain, how proud are you and your wife of what your son has accomplished?
ARTHUR BAIN: We have always known what a special young man Andrew is. Our older son, Arthur, who is at the University of Florida, is the same way. We know we have raised quality young men, who have a gift to do well in this world. No matter what they set out to do.
FLORIDA KIDS: In the classroom, Andrew has a 3.6 grade point average. That has to be a thrill to see him do equally well in the classroom as he has done on the football field?
ARTHUR BAIN: That's his mother. She has been there every step of the way, supporting him.
FLORIDA KIDS: Andrew, you have played on both sides of the line the first three years of your career. What position do you see yourself at in college?
ANDREW BAIN: I love both sides of the ball, so I have to leave that up to the coaches. I think I can get the job done on both sides.
FLORIDA KIDS: You were recently quoted as saying that the University of Miami is a lock for you to go to. Did that anger you since you never said that?
ANDREW BAIN: Not anger me, but when you are going through this process and colleges are taking the time to call you and find out what you are looking for, it's not right to exclude anyone.
FLORIDA KIDS: Do you have any favorite schools right now?
ANDREW BAIN: Miami, Florida State and North Carolina State are three good ones, but I will not rule out any other school that comes in and makes a good offer of academics as well as a football career.
FLORIDA KIDS: So, you won't give us a favorite?
ARTHUR BAIN: If I could jump in here. I think at this point, all the options should stay open. Andrew, my wife and I will sit down when the time is right and go over every school and see what is the best for Andrew. I know each school wants what is best for them, so we have to look at it the same way – from our perspective.
FLORIDA KIDS: Andrew, Arthur, Vergie – thank you for letting me into your life and the best of luck with whatever decision you make.