For Elijah Orr, it wasn’t merely a moment of failure.
Rather, it was a moment that, to his credit, inspired him to overcome the toughest of life’s hurdles.
At just six years age, Orr’s mother, Tia Orr, allowed him to try out for a Sacramento-area recreational football team.
However, an unfortunate development transpired days before the youngster was looking to suit up for his first competitive outing.
On the final day of tryouts, Elijah was cut by the coaches, something about which gave way to a sense of disappointment for his mother, who recalls like yesterday how it all unfolded.
He was devastated and, of course, I was too,” Tia Orr told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “Elijah realized through that experience however that he was going to have to work really hard to get recognition. At only 6-7 years old he would go outside and practice for hours on his own with out even being asked. I remember watching him over the years going out with his dad learning the mechanics of football and boy did it all his hard work pay off. He is now one of the best defensive players in the game.”
As Tia Orr explains, her son had spent countless hours working individually with his father, learning a variety of mechanics from blocking and tackling.
The rest, as they say, is history.
MORE ON ELIJAH ORR: http://www.sacbee.com/sports/high-school/article2925762.html
Not only did Elijah Orr become a marquee player the following year for the very team from which he was cut, but today, the 17-year-old is making his presence felt at the high school ranks.
An All-Section (district) strong safety for Grant High in Sacramento, California, Elijah Orr has been nothing short of impressive, a far cry from a kid who, a little more than a decade ago, was seen with his head buried in the palm of his hands — all because at the age of six, he was force to learn the hard way of just how commendable it is to clear hurdles and conquer arguably the toughest of obstacles.
To his credit, Elijah Orr had masterfully defied the odds, ultimately blossoming into one of California’s finest prep players for the Class of 2016.
His breakthrough season undoubtedly occurred last year when the 6-foot, 180-pound defensive specialist was as good as advertised for a Grant’s national standout squad that took a 14-0 record into last year state semifinal game falling big to Folsom.
In helping the Pacers to an undefeated regular season, a Delta League crown, and an impressive postseason run, Elijah Orr started every game and was among the team’s best defenders, registering near 10 tackles per game.
Add to the fact that Elijah Orr runs an average of 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash, bench presses somewhere around 250 pounds, and squats at 425, and it’s no wonder a number of colleges have taken into account that this kid undoubtedly possesses the skills and maturity to play at the next level.
MORE ON ELIJAH ORR: http://www.sacbee.com/sports/high-school/joe-davidson/article32275617.html
Elijah Orr, who has qualified academically, said he has garnered “countless letters” from a number of colleges, most notably from the University of Wyoming, the University of Nevada, the University Cal-Poly, Colorado State, and a host of Mid-South-area schools.
While he has yet to receive any official offers, many associated with Grant’s tradition-rich program believe Elijah Orr’s recruiting process will become more favorable in the coming weeks.
Among the reasons is that Elijah Orr was selected play in the annual Blue Grey All-American Game at season’s end. Also, he was chosen to play in the National All-American Game in Dallas’ AT&T Stadium in late December, an event that will feature a number of the elite players for the Class of 2016.
And, just recently, Elijah Orr was selected to participate in an Elite MVP Camp MVP in Los Angeles.
ELIJAH ORR’S SCOUTING REPORT/FOOTAGE: https://athletesforcollege.com/athletes/show/id/3412
A player who has gone to great lengths to build a solid resume since being cut from his youth football team more than a decade ago, Elijah Orr has a direct message for schools who are currently eyeing him.
“I’m a team first oriented player and I play to win,” Elijah Orr said. “I can be relied upon and feel that I can be an impact player at multiple positions. I give 110 percent every day. I have more heart than anyone on the field. I’m all about winning and perfection. Winning comes before personal satisfactions.
“I will do whatever it takes for my team to win ball games,” Elijah Orr continued. “I am a high energy player and am considered a leader among my peers. I love the excitement of the game and love contact.”
So much for being cut at the tender age of six.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.