Feb. 27, 2013
By Nick Carner
As first year coach Butch Jones gets to know his new team, one of the most important things he can do early is identify his team's leaders. Early on, junior safety Brian Randolph appears to be filling that role.
Randolph, a native of Kennesaw, Ga., was chosen to be Tennessee's representative in the NFL-NCAA Life Skills Summitt Roundtable that took place in Charlotte, N.C. last week.
According to the NFL, the roundtable is "designed to provide student-athletes with a forum to discuss the resources and support they need in order to meet their personal and professional goals."
Randolph said the forum was a chance for student-athletes from school's of all sizes to share their experiences, and for the NFL and NCAA to learn what they can do to improve the lives of student-athletes across the country.
"They really just wanted to know how they could better improve the lives of student athletes," Randolph said. "They were asking what they could do to help us. There were a lot of guys from smaller schools who were saying they wanted more recognition for what they do and more financial aid. We talked about a lot of little things that could help out the student-athletes. It was primarily to benefit us."
Randolph said there were guest speakers teaching the athletes about topics ranging from financial aid, to sex, to leadership.
"There were lots of people there, giving us all kinds of life advice," Randolph said. "They even gave advice on our sexual lives and were also telling us about the transition from being in college to being professionals, which is the next step."
Of all the topics discussed, Randolph said the discussions on leadership were the most beneficial. He said he learned methods and strategies for being a more effective leader.
"Most importantly, being a leader, you have to take time and know people," Randolph said. "If you're going to lead people, they have to know that you understand them and where they're coming from. You have to collaborate with them to lead them."
"It really opened my eyes to a lot of things," Randolph added. "They talked a lot about being a leader. How to deal with different people in different situations. Everybody's not the same, so you have to handle things differently. You want to treat people how you'd want to be treated. I feel like I learned a lot."