If you were to scour Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary to find a word most fitting to describe USC tailback C.J. Gable, perseverance might suffice.
That is because Gable, a fourth year junior, is on track to earn his degree next month and will graduate with the rest of his class according to a report from the Orange County Register.
“It means a lot,” Gable told Michael Lev of the Register. “Everybody’s real proud of me. [My family] wanted me to play football, but most importantly they wanted me to graduate. And I’m doing that.”
After a disappointing 2009 season under former coach Pete Carroll in which he carried the ball just 24 times for 102 yards, Gable could have bolted for the NFL in January like many of his fellow draft-eligible teammates — Everson Griffen and Joe McKnight.
But instead, Gable, who coincidently became the first true freshman in USC history to start a season opener at running back in 2006, decided to stick around, and now, it’s beginning to pay dividends on and off the field.
Although the value of a college degree can never be overvalued, Gable is also getting the chance to have a bounce back season for the Trojans in 2010 under new coach Lane Kiffin, who declared that there was no depth chart going into spring practice — thus presenting him with the chance to get more carries in the fall.
If his past is any indication, it’s clear that Gable won’t let such an opportunity go to waste, as he plans to persist.
“Never give up,” Gable said. It’s going to be hard at first, but it’s going to pay off in the end, big time, (in) anything you do. Like last year. I was angry (about not playing), but I didn’t show it. I came out here and did what I had to do.”