After his senior football season, Brawley Union High quarterback Donnie Wharton was seeking a challenge at the next level.
Wharton found that challenge when he decided to go to the Air Force Academy and try to walk on to the football team in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“I decided to attend the Air Force because it seemed like the right decision. I wanted to be challenged as a person and set myself up for a good future,” the 17-year-old Wharton said.
“I knew I was going to try out for football when I got there because I’ve always wanted to play in college.”
Wharton had to go through basic training before he got his chance to try out for the squad, but when that day came he was ready.
“Tryouts were exactly how I expected … short and very fast-paced,” Wharton said.
It didn’t take long after the tryout before Wharton knew his fate.
“I was told right after the 45-minute tryout that I made the team,” Wharton said. “It was an amazing feeling; I couldn’t stop smiling.”
Wharton was the starting quarterback for the Wildcats for nearly three full seasons.
Wharton didn’t see much playing time on the defensive side of the ball, which made it a surprise that he tried out for the Falcons as a defensive player.
“I tried out at defensive back so I’m probably going to be playing strong safety,” Wharton said. “The coaches know I’m willing to play anywhere they need me.”
Air Force is a NCAA Division I college and the Falcons will be playing such big-name programs as Texas Christian University, Notre Dame, San Diego State and Boise State this season.
Wharton doesn’t know what his full role will be this season but it is an opportunity he is happy to have.
“My goals are to get as much playing time as I can right now and ultimately try to get on the varsity roster,” Wharton said.
“I want to thank my family, coaches and everyone from the Brawley football team.”
Wharton earns chance to fly with the Falcons
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