Running steps at age 8 didn’t faze Brock Bolen. Neither did hitting tackling dummies in his back yard or trying to tackle his older, bigger, stronger sister.
Bolen, a fullback in his second training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars, developed a strong worth ethic at a young age thanks in large part to the disciplined example his father set. Jim Bolen fought in the Vietnam war as a Green Beret and then landed a job as a mercenary for the Rhodesian government, protecting that country’s border from terrorists.
“I told him there are certain things he has to do,” Jim told The Florida Times-Union. “One of the things is when all the other kids are sitting around the house playing Nintendo, he had to be out running the steps.”
That discipline has served 6-foot, 233-pound Brock well, and he stands a decent chance of making the Jaguars.
“They never forced me to do the extra work or forced me to play football,” he said. “They just said if you are going to do it, you have to work at it. And if you are going to be one of the best, you have to work at it.”
His position coach, longtime NFL running back Earnest Byner, has taken note.
“I don’t want to say too much too early and all that kind of stuff, but Brock has done a masterful job,” Byner said. ” … He’s a smart guy, he’s intelligent and he has the athletic ability. … With what he’s doing, Brock is earning a lot of respect from his teammates and the coaches.”