Jan. 18, 2017
Patrick Gamble (as told to Justin Fedich)
“Our Stories” is a RamblinWreck.com feature that provides first-person stories from current Georgia Tech student-athletes on their journey through academics, competition and life once their athletic careers are over. These young men and women represent the ideals of what it means to be a STUDENT-athlete at Georgia Tech. These are their stories.
I came to Georgia Tech to play football, but I didn’t know how to play my position. As a long-time defensive end, moving inside to play defensive tackle was a new challenge, and I needed the help of my coaches and the support of my teammates — who quickly became like brothers to me — to help me adjust.
I never had a brother before I came to Georgia Tech. Now, I leave with more than I can count.
My name is Patrick Gamble and I am a former football player for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets attempting to make the jump to the NFL. I am an only child, son of Curtis and Charonda. Growing up without any siblings, at times, I was lonely, but I’ve never felt alone.
I began playing football when I was five years old, and I started dreaming of playing in the NFL soon after. It was a lofty goal, but there’s something my uncle, Jermany Brown, told me that has stuck with me to this day.
“If you want to be successful, you’ve got to be great,” he said.
Throughout my college career at Georgia Tech, both as an athlete and as a student, I have taken those words to heart.
After redshirting my freshman year, I steadily improved each season I played. In our most recent game, the 33-18 win over Kentucky in the TaxSlayer Bowl, I posted a career-high two sacks and was second on my team in tackles with seven.
The bowl win in my final game as a Yellow Jacket wasn’t the only highlight of the season. I had 1.5 sacks in a 30-20 win at Virginia Tech and recorded 11 tackles in a 28-27 victory at Georgia. Still, with a productive senior year that earned me All-ACC Honorable Mention, I know I can’t rest on my laurels.
I don’t want to know my draft grade. People can tell me where and if they think I’ll be drafted, but none of that concerns me. As long as I put in the work, that’s all I can do. The rest is in the hands of the 32 NFL teams to determine if a 6-foot-5 defensive lineman from Georgia Tech is what they’re looking for.
Before college, I had plenty of time to myself as an only child. I listened to a lot of music and watched a lot of movies. Those activities were hobbies then, but when I reached college I realized I wanted to make it into a career.
I majored in literature, media and communication, and I plan to get into film and music production. I like making music and I love movies. Maybe one day, I’ll start my own production company.
I’m not sure when that day will come, because for now I still have football on my mind.
When I made the transition from middle school to high school in my hometown of Carrollton, I started getting calls from colleges that wanted me to play football for them. I wanted to go with what I felt comfortable with, and I wanted to be at a place I would get the most out of for the next four or five years.
When I committed to Georgia Tech, I felt comfortable there, so I knew it was the best decision for me. My defensive line coach Mike Pelton and assistant director of player personnel Saeed Khalif were instrumental in helping me along the way. Now that it’s finally over and done, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s time for the next step.
I don’t know for sure what this year has in store for me. I could be on an NFL roster in a matter of months, but I know nothing is guaranteed, so I try not to worry about it. Like my uncle told me, if I work my hardest to be successful in all aspects of my life, I’m going to be great at something.
While I know it’s a gamble devoting much of my time to preparing for the NFL Draft, I’m confident the hard work will pay off in one way or another. No matter where I end up in the near future, I know I’ll be happy doing what I love.