Senior receiver wants to give back to those who have helped shape his life.
NORMAN, Okla. --
||Senior Juaquin Iglesias
All athletes search for some sort of motivation to keep them performing at their very best, week in and week out. Some are motivated by success, fame, or a future career. Oklahoma senior wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias is motivated by his family, especially his mother and brother.
Growing up in Killeen, Texas, Iglesias has always been around football, whether it was watching the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoons or playing football with his brother. The game has always been in his blood and he has always had a deep passion for the game.
"My brother made me play football with him when I was younger and, since then, I have been playing. He was kind of like my coach when I was younger. He taught me a lot about football and life -- he is my best friend."
While in high school, his family didn't really think about him going to college, much less playing football at a big-time university like Oklahoma. Like most young kids, Iglesias' first thought was to go straight to the big time and make a living and a name for himself.
The game has always
been in his blood and
he has always had a
deep passion for the
"I wasn't really thinking about college. I wanted to go straight to the NFL from high school and start supporting my family. My parents never really thought about college for me. They were both in the military and all they wanted me to do was work as hard as I could in whatever I did, whether it was school or football.
"When I decided to come to OU, my mom pushed for me to excel in academics while my father wanted me to go for the football, not necessarily the academic part of school. Thinking back on it, I am very glad I came to the University of Oklahoma."
He was recruited by a number of smaller schools and when Oklahoma came to him, Iglesias described it as a "blessing." It was a blessing for Sooner fans as well.
His family always knew his potential as a football player as did all of his teammates. Nobody, not even Iglesias, would have guessed he would have be as successful as he has proven to be at the University of Oklahoma. "I always knew I was pretty good, but I knew there were a lot of other guys out there who were a lot better than me. That gave me fuel to push harder and harder to be better than anybody."
His brother is a big part of his life and helped him become the man he is today, on and off the football field.
Iglesias' brother is a
big part of his life and
helped him become
the man he is today,
both on and off the
"He is my brother and best friend, I have never seen anybody work as hard as he did as a football player ever. Nobody will ever work as hard as he did. He taught me a lot about football and life. It has helped me a lot throughout my career. He played at a junior college but never got recruited to a big-time university, so he is a big part of my success. Every day, I try to work as hard as he did to improve on the field."
Not long after his older brother finished his glory days on the football field, the younger brother started to emerge as a star at Oklahoma. As a freshman, Iglesias started to gain the coaches' attention by catching crucial passes in the Baylor game and the 2005 Holiday Bowl. In 2006, he catapulted to second on the team in receptions and yards, including a 120-yard performance in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.
After last season's breakthrough performance, Iglesias now ranks sixth at OU in career receiving yards and eighth in career receptions. He is second on OU's all-time list in career return yards with 1,301 kick return yards and ranks third at Oklahoma with four 100-yard games. Additionally, his 3,394 yards of total offense ranks 13th on the career list.
His best performance to date came in 2007 against Tulsa when he racked up 142 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He is arguably one of the top all-around athletes to ever wear Crimson and Cream. According to Iglesias, he realized how good he had become after the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. "I knew I was good after that game, but still, I second guess myself on the field."
Iglesias is well on his way to becoming one of OU's greatest wide receivers with 145 receptions for 1,979 yards and 13 touchdowns four games into the senior year of his career. He has been a big part of Oklahoma's success in recent years and is proving that this year will be no different.
"I play football in hopes
of getting good enough
to play in the NFL. That
way I can support my
mother and the rest of
"My brother has been a big part of my success, if it wasn't for him, I don't know how good I would be today."
In addition to his brother, his mother has played a big role in his life as well, being supportive and encouraging him to do his best in whatever he plans to do in his future.
"My mother is everything to me. She is what I cherish the most. I play football in hopes of getting good enough to play in the NFL. That way I can support her and the rest of my family. I think about her every day and strive to be a better son for her every day and make her proud on and off the field."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Feature by Josh Tullius
| OU Athletics Media Relations