George Rios | Texas A&M Kingsville | LB
Twitter: @Rios_George52 | Instagram: @Rios_George52
Q: Tell us about your college (or pro) career and what the recruiting/scouting process was like. Why did you choose (Texas A&M Kingsville)?
A: When I played high school football at Mary Carroll High school in Corpus Christi, Texas I was center during my junior year and right guard during my senior year. I was an undersized lineman being 5’11 and 200lbs at the time. The reason I was put on the o-line was because of how physical I was, my knowledge of the game, and because I always got the job done. Unfortunately, due to my size I was and the positions I was in, not one school wanted to take a chance on me. After my senior year, I went to Blinn College. I learned how to long snap during my first year so I could walk on into their team, but after one semester I was able to transfer to Kingsville. Transferring to Texas A&M-Kingsville allowed me to be close to family since it was 40 minutes away from Corpus Christi. This made it easier for them to watch me play. When I went to TAMUK, I was only a long snapper for the first few weeks because my coaches saw right away that I was more than just a snapper. They allowed me to play other positions like fullback, linebacker and help the team in anyway. I will always be thankful to Texas A&M Kingsville, especially to Coach Cundiff and Coach Palmer for giving me the opportunity of playing for their team.
Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?
A:What I consider to be my greatest sport career accomplishment is earning an All-Conference Title for long snapping. I received this award my last year of playing at TAMUK. This was especially significant for me because I played the whole season with a fractured 5th metatarsal as well as needing surgery on my talus bone on the same foot.
Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from the coaching staff while playing at (Texas A&M Kingsville)?
A: All coaches taught me a lot about the game of football, the special teams’ coaches were the ones I learned from the most. When I got to TAMUK, special teams was a major focus. Being a part of the special teams allowed me to get more knowledge and understanding of the different areas of the game. This allowed me to become an overall well-rounded player, I became very dominant on kickoff with getting down field and making blockers miss to get to a tackle.
Q: How was your career impacted due to the 2020 pandemic and what have you learned from the adversity?
A: This pandemic has definitely impacted many aspects of my football career; it has made it hard to be looked at and be able to go workout for teams. This has not made it an excuse for me to slack off, every day I find new ways to improve myself and focus on getting better.
Q: What was your major and what are your plans if football doesn’t work out?
A: My major is PRE-PT and I will be graduating this Spring. My original plan was to go be a Physical Therapist Assistant, but I have been given the opportunity to coach at my old high school after graduation. I am choosing the coaching route in hopes that I can quickly prove my way to become an OC, I would love to use the playbook that I have been creating over the past year and a half.
Q: What would your current/past teammates say about you and your qualities?
A: I believe my teammates would say that I am a hard worker who always puts all his effort. They would say that I am not selfish, that I am a great listener, a player who tries his best to be a great leader and a guy who others want to be around.
Q: What has been one of the most memorable plays of your career at any level?
A: As many as I have, my most memorable play would have to be my first college career tackle against UTPB. It was not anything crazy, just an open field tackle, but what made it special was right after the tackle looking into the stands and both my father and me pointing at each other. That moment just felt like he was there on the field with me celebrating with me just like my old Peewee days. The pure feeling of knowing he supported me through all my hard work to get to the college level and play is something I will never forget.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how do you manage it?
A: My biggest challenge has been going to workouts and having scouts seem like they are interested, but never hearing back from them and not knowing why. For example, after being a part of the spring league in Austin, Texas when they helped with the XFL develop their rules. This gave coaches to have a first look at us players. On the last day, I had four coaches take my information down. Excited as can be waiting for the call the XFL combines roll around and I did not get one invite or a call. This is not the first time this has happened, but I keep pushing for an opportunity and no matter how hard things get I will not get discouraged and give up.
Q: If you could compare yourself to a pro athlete, who would that be and why?
A: A pro athlete I can compare myself to is Kyle Juszczyk because of how well I block at the fullback position, but also because of how great I can catch and run the ball when needed.
This pandemic has definitely impacted many aspects of my football career; it has made it hard to be looked at and be able to go workout for teams. This has not made it an excuse for me to slack off, every day I find new ways to improve myself and focus on getting better.
Q: What is your biggest strength that you bring to a professional team and why should pro scouts consider you?
A: My biggest strength will be to do what I am asked of. I am not a selfish player; I play because I love the game. For example, if I am told to go punt the ball for a play, I’m the last person to question a decision and will do as told. I care about doing whatever is going to help the team win.
Q: Are you involved in mentoring, a charity or do you “give back” or ”pay it forward” in your community?
A: I work with kids from my area by teaching them how to long snap. Right before COVID, I started a local camp where I helped local kids by ranking and recording their progress. I started this because so many kids are put in the wrong playing positions which affects them when trying to play college football. My goal is to make kids understand that long snapping can get you to the next level, but most importantly helping them develop the skills to be seen as players with talent and be provided with the opportunity to have a paid career and even going to the pros.
Q: How are you preparing for the 2021 National Scouting Combine and what are your goals?
A: Right now, I am training four times a week for 3 hours doing lifting and field work. I used to do five days a week, but right now one of my biggest goals is to give my body recovery time so I can be as healthy as possible. Another thing I am working on is dropping a few pounds to move a bit quicker. I was weighing in at 232 lbs., but I have changed my diet and now I am weighing 221 lbs. Making the adjustments I have made have definitely helped with my movement already.
Q: What would be your ultimate achievement?
A: My ultimate achievement would be to be able to tell my mother and father I got them. My mother has worked at Best Buy her whole life and has many things she would like to do, but does not have the time or money. My father has a small trophy business, his business has been significantly affected by COVID and he is barely surviving. I would love to help support his business until the day he is ready to retire. Taking care of them the way the provided for me is the ultimate achievement.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when not playing football?
A: When I am not training or playing, I love to spend time with my wife. That can be us taking the dogs for a walk, longboarding, staying in watching movies, or enjoying a night out together. She is from Mexico so we love to go and enjoy the food from there. When I’m not worrying about football all my attention goes to my wife.
Q: If you could make a positive impact on all of society what would it be and why?
A: I would love to help the homeless. No matter what the reason is for someone being homeless, there are many things that can be done to help them. For example, there are so many abandoned properties that I would love to buy and turn into a home for someone. It would have a similar concept of a homeless shelter, but I would buy property and turn it into an apartment. This will provide a living with privacy and belonging . While doing this we can help that person find a job and become stable.
Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?
A: My mother and father. Both of them work hard to make things possible for others before themselves. They are the two best people I know and look up to.
Q: What is something unique about you that people would find interesting?
A: Something unique people would find interesting is that I am a Ball Python breeder. I have my own side business called Swoll Reps and am going into my 2nd year of breeding Ball Pythons. I have loved reptiles since I was a kid, my home is also the home of iguanas, monitors, and tortoises.
Q: What is your dream job?
A: My dream job is to play professional football as a Fullback.