With college football tentatively set to kick off on Aug. 29, parents of local athletes are putting their faith in coaches that have pledged to keep them safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Major conferences like the BIG Ten and PAC-12 have decided to cancel the football season in the fall, but most conferences with ties to the south like the Big 12, SEC and American Athletic Conference are moving forward with plans to play.
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Parents of former Humble ISD standouts, like Cornel Cosmi, the father of Texas offensive lineman Samuel Cosmi, said that his son is in good hands at the Texas. The rising junior graduated from Atascocita in 2017.
“As parents we always want the best for our kids,” Cornel Cosmi said. “As parents we can be a little overprotective at times, but we always tell him to listen to the coaches and follow all the protocol. We love the Longhorns and the coaching staff. We know that they’re going to keep our kids as safe as possible. I have nothing but confidence in Texas.”
Cornel Cosmi talks to Samuel every day on Facetime as he walks from the practice field back to his dorm. He has heard his son explain the cleaning procedures and safety protocols at Texas, and it has made him feel at ease.
“He tells us how they’re doing everything,” Cornel Cosmi said. “They’re even practicing with a mask on too. They’re wiping everything down all the time and spraying. It can be tough for everyone at first because we aren’t used to doing stuff like this.”
The season is important for Samuel, who hopes to hear his name called early during the NFL draft next year. He could have an advantage over BIG Ten and PAC-12 offensive linemen who take the season off. Samuel will put on more tape for NFL scouts this fall.
However, the risks are still there, even for healthy athletes.
Some area athletes, including Sedrick Williams, a mid-year enrollee at the University of Houston, tested positive for COVID-19 in early July and spent 14 days in quarantine. In a Facebook post, Williams said he decided to opt out of the season because he’s had complications with his heart.
Playing during a pandemic gives pause to some college athletes who aren’t seeing a million dollar paycheck or have pre-existing conditions. However, the Cosmi family has been happy with precautions taken by the university.
When Texas’ student-athletes first arrived back on campus there were positive tests and players had to self-quarantine.
“You get a little more concern when it hits closer to home,” Cornel Cosmi said. “I don’t wish that on anybody — for their child to get sick. This is a pandemic, and we have never dealt with anything like this before. So we just all hope to do the best that we can right now and follow all the safety precautions through it.”
Lykendera Robinson was a little concerned when the University of Houston had student-athletes test positive. The Cougars suspended voluntary in June workouts after six positive tests.
She was letting her son Dylan Robinson, who recently graduated from Atascocita, go off to college for the first time to play football for the Cougars.
“It was scary in the beginning, letting him leave home under those conditions,” Lykendera Robinson said. “But when they announced that everyone was going to have to get tested before they moved in, I relaxed a little more because I knew they cared about my son’s safety.”
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The freshman receiver tested negative for COVID-19 and moved in on campus on July 7. Dylan began to go through football workouts and started his college life.
He keeps his mom informed on what safety procedures Houston is doing and feels comfortable with the coaches.
“I still call him almost every day to make sure he’s OK,” Lykendera Robinson said. “I ask him how his workouts are going, and I make sure to watch his bank account so he isn’t spending too much money. But safety is the No. 1 rule for me right now.”
Lykendera Robinson has kept in touch with the coaches and understands that right now everything is a fluid situation.
The American plans to move forward with a football season at this point, but Lykendera Robinson is putting her faith in the coaches she knows.
“I trust the coaching staff over there,” Lykendera Robinson said. “I think they have the kids’ best interest at heart, and I think they’re going to put in the necessary protocols that can prevent the virus from spreading. The coaches have told us that this is all new to them too and they’re going to put our kid’s safety first. As a parent, that’s what I want to hear.”