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Southern Illinois QB, Josh Straughan, and his journey to becoming a D1 Quarterback

“Persistence is a Journey; There is No Destination.”

 

To say that Southern Illinois quarterback, Josh Straughan’s, path to playing Division 1 college football is rare would be an understatement. Growing up in Colton, Washington Straughan’s high school was not big enough to play traditional 11-man football, so they played 8- man. After throwing for over 10,000 yards in high school and winning All-state honors in Washington, Josh found himself at HBCU, DII Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Al where he took over the job his freshman year. He was set to start his 4th Season when a Labrum tear in his shoulder caused him to sit out and red-shirt the 2015 Season, his senior year. That was the same season that Stillman shut down their football program. He was out of a scholarship and out of a team, with one year of eligibility left. A situation no athlete who has come so far to follow their dream and passion wants to be in. After re-opening his recruitment, Josh was committed to play his last year at D1 Austin Pea before their coaching staff was let go on Christmas eve of 2015.

Josh had just a few days to find a new program and get enrolled in school to compete for the starting job the next season. In his mind, just another obstacle to over-come. Fast-forward to week 1 of the 2016 season and Straughan throws for 367 yards against FBS Florida Atlantic setting the Missouri Valley conference record for passing yards by a newcomer.

“I will never forget the first time I met Josh” comments Ben Neill, QB Country coach in Birmingham, Al. “He drives up to the field in Birmingham, from Tuscaloosa, with half of his teammates in the car at 9am on a Saturday morning, during summer workouts. I thought, ‘his teammates must really like this guy’.”

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Josh Straughan is no stranger to adversity, or over- coming it. He holds an outstanding reputation with every locker room he has been in and has a relentless desire to be the best he can be. “Josh is everything you look for in a QB plays and lives from his heart, a competitor to the core, strong, accurate, athletic” continues Neill. “The question that I have is, which will be more amazing, his past or his future?”