Too often it seems like hard work goes unnoticed, so it’s relieving once in a while to see accomplished and dedicated individuals get the recognition they deserve.

Later this year, Jerheme Urban, a homegrown Stroman High School football star who went on to a career in the NFL, will be duly recognized by his alma mater, Trinity University in San Antonio, when he’s inducted into the prestigious Trinity Athletic Hall of Fame. The honor is being conferred not only for Urban’s athletic achievement but for his lifelong commitment to the sport and his character on and off the field.

Growing up in a ranching family in Victoria, Urban learned the same lessons many of us hold dear: the value of a day’s work, the importance of putting in effort when the payoff is far away – if it comes at all. This early experience in agriculture was instrumental in cultivating a young man with the drive and commitment to sustain a career in the NFL and later as a coach at Trinity University.

Urban’s decision at a young age to undertake a college athletic career at Trinity University was motivated in part by a desire to attend a university that could provide a high-quality academic experience along with the opportunity to continue playing football. Urban would go on to earn a social studies composite degree with a focus in history while earning all-conference and All-American honors as a student-athlete. He was a well-rounded student who grew into a well-rounded professional athlete.

Throughout his NFL career, Urban routinely gave back to the community where he grew up by hosting free summer football camps for Crossroads youth. Together with high school coaches and former Trinity players, he helped local players build their skills and confidence and showed them that with dedication, they, too, could achieve their goals.

It’s been a long journey for a former ranch boy who learned early in life to work hard even when there are no guarantees it will pay off. Urban’s commitment has paid off, and his induction into the Trinity Athletic Hall of Fame will be the latest example of that. Well done.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

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