Editor’s Note: Ocoee High School (Florida) senior wide receiver Asaad Waseem has written the following first-person story to announce where he’ll play college football.
The 5-foot-11, 173-pound Waseem had 82 catches for 1,481 yards with 20 touchdowns. Waseem also had 13 kick returns for 343 yards, 10 punt returns for 276 yards, 12 tackles and two interceptions in 2022, when he helped lead Ocoee to its first Final Four appearance in program history.
Waseem received more than 15 offers during the recruiting process, including from Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Miami and Ole Miss.
This means a lot.
I watched my brother, Spencer Waseem, grow up playing football in high school and then at Washington State. I used to throw the ball with him and his homeboys when they would come to the house. That really inspired me, seeing him play Friday nights and then Saturdays. He’s my inspiration for playing.
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Just knowing that’s my brother out there making plays was big for me. He played cornerback and I play wide receiver, but he really inspired me. When he was in high school, he and his teammates would show me a lot of love when I came to games. They were like my big brothers.
It means a lot to follow in his footsteps. He got injured in college. So I want to make my family proud and make him proud because he didn’t get a chance to live through his football dreams. I want him to live through me.
He motivates me a lot. Him just throwing the ball with me, showing me how to play football. He was the person who introduced me to the football. I carry that on my back. Now, I’ve got to convert.
Recruiting has been up and down. My sophomore year, it really took off. When I was at West Orange last year, I didn’t get the ball as much, but we made it far in the playoffs and I was proud of what we accomplished.
Coming into this year, I knew I had to blow up. I’m thankful for the Ocoee coaching staff putting me into the position I’m in and my teammates for holding me to a high standard.
The playoff run we had was very good. I went to Ocoee Middle School, so I knew those guys since I was 12 or 13. They’re like brothers. We had some tough losses during the season, but we bounced back in the playoffs. We put our hearts in the game and I’m glad we had the run with my brothers.
Before I announce, I want to thank my mom and dad. My mom says she’s scared every time I play, but she still watches me and so I’m thankful. My dad been here throughout. Tough love since the start. I love my dad for everything he did and said. Everything he said, I may not have listened at the time, but it all played out the way he said it would. I want to also thank my middle school P.E. teacher, Coach Spencer. He showed me right from wrong. He’s my biggest fan. I want to thank all my teammates, coaches and all my siblings.
I’ve always had that swagger since I was a little kid. Now I have a coach with the same type of swag as me. I’m taking my talents to the University of Colorado.
Coach Prime (Deion Sanders) has that swag. I love people that don’t care what anyone says about them. He’s going to do big things. He played for Coach Bobby Bowden at Florida State. He’s one of the best of all time and I’m sure he learned a lot from him. I really like that. He’s going to give it his all and do it his own way.
I’m not throwing shade at any other school, but its different when Coach Prime is coaching you. He’s got a gold jacket. He’s in the College Football Hall of Fame. I’m living in a different world playing for him.
My official visit has been good. Seeing a lot of coaches that resemble me. They have a majority Black coaching staff. I can go to people who have been through the same things I’m going through and they can relate to what I’m going through.
Being able to play on the Power Five level means a lot to me. Some people don’t have the opportunity at all. So, to be able to play at the Power Five level will be a great experience.
Thanks you to everyone who helped me during this process.