How a JUCO transfer landed in the Hawks nest
Athletes transferring from different universities and colleges happen more often than most people think. Transferring may only occur after the end of a school year but athletes may transfer in between semesters or even mid-semester. NCAA athletes and Junior College, also known as “JUCO”, have different ways of traveling and begging to ‘walk the road’ on their way to find a new home.
The NCAA transfer portal is an online database where athletes who are performing under the NCAA may enter if they desire to transfer from their current institution. Coaches then can enter this portal to find student-athletes and make contact with them to pursue their interest in transferring to their university. JUCO transferring is an entirely different story.
With the gritty and competitiveness of JUCO athletics, getting looks or interest from other universities is the same as trying to get that first college scholarship when playing sports in high school. With no transfer portal available for these junior college athletes, they must provide various amounts of practice and game film to gain interest from the colleges they may or may not desire.
Tim Gomez, a defensive lineman from Long Beach, California, recently transferred from Texas A&M-Kingsville and understands the “JUCO Struggle” and the process of going through the transfer portal.
Here is an excerpt from an interview with Gomez:
Lowery: How many seasons did you play at your previous institutions?
Gomez: At Kingsville, zero, I was there for only a semester, the spring so we weren’t in season.
Lowery: And how about before that?
Gomez: I was at Santa Ana College and I was there for one year playing one season.
Lowery: Tell me about the “JUCO Struggle”, many people know about it but haven’t really experienced so tell me how that was for you?
Gomez: Coming from California, I was…I did have the luxury because both JUCOs I attended in my career were actually within 30 minutes from home so being able to stay at home and having a stable place to live adds a huge advantage that a lot of JUCO athletes do not have you know? Being on a couple of teams, I’ve noticed people coming from out of state and the area about the stories they would have to such as you’re living with four people in one room or having to sleep in their car for the night, other struggles like that. Luckily things I didn’t have to struggle with. But being in JUCO made it a little more challenging due to funding, not having the top facilities…and having to work also just to make ends meet even though I was like, living at home. Just dealing with those definitely made it a bit more difficult but like I said prior it wasn’t as bad as some teammates had it.
Lowery: What made your decision to become a Hawk and transfer to QU?
Gomez: I’ve been recruited by Quincy since this past May when I initially entered the transfer portal, and just with Coach Azar, (Quincy’s Defensive Line Coach) we were able to build a good relationship and really good communication and I agree with a lot of the things he said on what Quincy could offer me so they definitely stood out on terms of the other schools who were recruiting me. Just the overall culture, the school, and program I would say is pretty unique. The school and everyone here wants you to succeed and sees you more than just an athlete but overall as a person in all areas of life and definitely want to see you become the best version of yourself and not just worried about the product you produce on the field.
Gomez is looking to become a game-changer for the Hawks’ Defensive Line this upcoming season. With the defense needing a lot of help in the interior, Gomez and other transfers are looking forward to helping solidify the Hawks defense.