Rodriguez seeks to leave on top

Many people often wonder what it would be like to be a pro or college athlete. With all the glory and glamour that fans see on the field, they really don’t get a chance to take a look at all the hard work going on behind the scenes to make that star athlete.
Becoming a college athlete takes on extra challenges as well. These include not only succeeding on the field, but off the field as well, inside the classroom.
Taking on the challenge of transforming into a scholar athlete is more than a full time job – it is a way of life.
For the UM baseball team, senior shortstop Javy Rodriguez has spent his first three years at UM becoming such a person.
Growing up near Coral Gables, Rodriguez has had his sights set on UM and baseball since a very young age.
“Ever since I wanted to play baseball, I have been coming out every day and working hard,” Rodriguez said.
Miami isn’t the first place to challenge Rodriguez in the classroom as well as on the field.
In high school, Rodriguez attended Gulliver Prep, just a short distance from the UM campus. The private school has sent loads of baseball and academic talent to colleges around the country.
This year alone, there are currently four players on the UM baseball team that attended Gulliver Prep including senior Brad Safchik and freshman twin duo Danny and Paco Figueroa.
Already in his career at UM, Rodriguez has separated himself from the rest, stealing a nation’s best 66 bases in 2001. In addition, and really the pride of his career, Rodriguez has helped Miami bring home two College World Series championships in the past three years.
The stolen bases record didn’t even cross his mind when asked about his greatest UM accomplishment. It is clear there is only one thing on his mind.
“Without a doubt, my best memory and accomplishment here at UM is helping to win two national championships. That’s what it is all about.
“My goals are to walk away from UM with three national championships and to go high in the draft.”
With all the new faces on this year’s squad, Rodriguez will be looked upon as a veteran and a leader for the newcomers.
“I just try to teach them all the little things,” Rodriguez said. “It’s the little things that really help to win ball games and make better players.”
Rodriguez credited his own leader in Morris.
“Coach has taught us so much in baseball and in life that you can’t just give up,” Rodriguez said. “You go out there like anything else and fight through it. And that is what we will do.”
With leadership and determination, don’t expect the Hurricanes to roll over and die just yet.
Especially if Rodriguez has anything to say about it.