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Michael “Tootie” Mayberry’s Freshman Year ended with a devastating bang! A break-up from his high school sweetheart, Sophia, a demoralizing suspension from the college football playoffs, to watching his team play on the national stage from afar was the recipe that had Tootie contemplating giving up. These were the first of many challenges that he’d face as an Athlete-Student, that ultimately pushes him to become a better person on and off the field.


Tootie expected his Sophomore Year to be one of redemption. He kicked off the year with a strong performance academically and rebuilt his reputation on the team, being one of the key leaders. Just when he thought the worse was behind him, Tootie’s best friend, roommate, and teammate, Marcus, died much too soon in a car accident. This traumatic event sent Tootie into a vicious downward spiral mentally and emotionally. In response, his head coach required him to see a therapist before returning to the team. Even with much deeper life challenges during his Sophomore Year, Tootie had an inspiring return and performance on the football field to lead his team to the national championship game. Now a household name and firmly on the radar of every NFL scout, Tootie needs one more stellar season to ensure his name is called in the first round of the NFL draft.


However, at the end of Sophomore Year, we learned Tootie will have a little extra motivation for success, as fatherhood will soon be upon him. Michael “Tootie” Mayberry’s Junior Year will be a make or break season…


- Can Tootie live up to the expectations he’ll inevitably shoulder from coaches, teammates, family, and fans?

- Will he hold it together in his Junior Year mentally and emotionally as life keeps happening?

- Will Tootie fulfill his lifelong dream of making it to the NFL? Dive in and find out what Junior Year has in store!


After a rocky freshman year that included outstanding production on the field, unsatisfactory performances in the classroom, an unforgettable breakup and a suspension from the biggest game in school history - Michael “Tootie” Mayberry is ready to 

demonstrate growth and maturity in his upcoming college 

sophomore year.


However, while Tootie aims to improve upon a stellar season that made him a freshman All-American. He first has to rebuild a 

reputation that took massive blows stemming from a cheating scandal that landed him on academic probation. With his future of becoming a professional athlete hanging in the balance, how will Tootie respond to the increasing demands of being a 


Book Cover

Over 480,000 student-athletes commit to participating in a college sport each year. Most have hopes of one day playing their respective sport professionally. However, in reality, only a small percentage will ever become professional athletes --less than 3.5% to be exact.  Even with these statistics, it would do little to derail an athlete from staying mentally and physically tough throughout their college career to become the best athletic version of themselves possible. They train their minds and bodies to believe they are the best; continuously planting and watering that mental seed that constantly tells them they will reach the pinnacle of their sport.


With all this in mind, athletes often select the easiest majors their university offers, then end up paying for it in the “real world” after graduation. This leads to a pressing, often unanswered question for student-athletes:




Meet Michael “Tootie” Mayberry. He only has one dream, which is becoming a professional football player. As Tootie finishes up his senior year of high school, he faces the only obstacle between reaching his dream of playing in the NFL, COLLEGE….. As Tootie embarks on his college career, he’ll take you through his journey as he balances the stresses of performing at a high-level on the field and in the classroom, while also fighting through many other challenges student-athletes face.






This story should be a must-read for student-athletes. I have seen many athletes make it. But I have seen even more fail. Then when I see them, they’ve got excuses about why they didn’t get their degrees or why they didn’t finish. Many athletes don’t realize the small percentages of people who actually make it to the next level. And they don’t realize what it means to have a sound backup plan. That’s why I think they need to read this book so that they don’t fall into the same pitfalls that others have fallen into. And having a backup is crucial.

Larry Rubama

Sports Reporter/Virginian Pilot


You have a knack for describing scenes with such clarity and detail, making a reader feel as though they've been transported into the scene. That's a difficult skill for an author to achieve, but it feels natural in your storytelling. Well done! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your work. 

Author Lauren Smith




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