Robert Black, IV had options. Good ones at that.
When it came to football, the 6-foot-1 senior defensive back could’ve chosen between Air Force, Army, Furman, Georgia State and Samford. Maybe not considered Division I powerhouses, but still, given Black’s football and career goals, they all had more pluses than minuses.
But only two schools — Army and the Air Force Academy — could offer him something else that means just as much to him as his career on the field and his classroom goals off the field.
That’s his desire to serve his country. Ultimately, when Black decided to continue his football career at Air Force, he was also making the decision to continue striving to keep alive a family legacy of military service to the United States.
“At Air Force, it was the weight of the degree, the education I’d get there and the chance to play big time football,” Black said. “And you can’t go wrong serving your country.”
Black said he will go in to the Air Force with the rank of Second Lieutenant Commissioner — a rank he says “I worked hard for.”
“To be honest, my desire to serve my country started with my grandpa,” Black said. “He was in the marines, and he always talked about it and about his experiences serving our country. So once I got those offers from the military schools, he talked about how happy it would make him and how proud he would be if I went, and what it meant for me to serve, and I just couldn’t fight that.”
Beyond football and serving his country, Black said He wants to major in chemistry as a way to prepare him to go into med school once his playing days at Air Force are done.
“It’s just something I’ve always been interested in,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be a doctor or a surgeon. Something that career field.”
Black says his time at Newton has helped prepare him to make such mature and life-altering decisions.
“Being here has meant a lot football wise,” he said. “It gave me a new workout regimen. Taught me how to be better as a man. Being here gave me a new atmosphere of people, new coaches and players. I really feel the love here.”