Melvin Gilliam, Jr.
Playing football at Oklahoma State University is a means to an end for Booker T. Washington’s Melvin Gilliam, Jr. Gilliam is a red-shirt junior who will be graduating this spring with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a double minor in Human Resources and Sports Management.
“I really enjoy playing football and it is a dream to get the opportunity to play professionally like thousands of other college players, but the odds say only one half of one percent of the players will actually get that opportunity.” One thing is for sure, that number greatly increases for student-athletes going professional in the work force and he likes those odds.
Although Gilliam has another year of eligibility to play football one more year, he is not absolutely sure he will stay and play next year. “As much as I love the game and my teammates, football is so hard on your body and as you get older, you will begin to feel all those hits you gave as well as the ones you took. My dad has told me that his body lets him know when it is going to rain, because his body aches from all those hits from football.”
Gilliam is looking forward to the next phase of his life. “In football we are taught to always start the second half strong. The second half of my life is about to start and I want to do exactly that. Whether it is stay and play or come out and start my professional career. Whichever it is, I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Presently he is going through the thought process of where he would like to live. He has been lucky in the way of getting exposed to many different cities. His dad, Gilliam, Sr. always made it a point to expose him to different places. “He always tells me that you can always come home, so go and experience different places, you never know what opportunities are there for you if you don’t go,” stated Gilliam.
He has really enjoyed the college experience and all the lifelong relationships he has made along the way, from his teammates to the coaches to the students in the classes he has taken. “I have memories that will be with me a lifetime and I must say it has been a wonderful ride.”
Gilliam’s Oklahoma State team played in and won the 2016 Alamo Bowl this past season, he will be proud of his ring and will add it to his dad’s Gator Bowl ring which he won in 1985 at Oklahoma State also, after all it is a family tradition.