Glenn Winston: Resurrecting a football career

By Josh Elkin

Glenn Winston was once a promising young running back at Michigan State. He had been a stand out on special teams and won the starting running back job entering his sophomore year. Then on October 19th 2009, Winston got into an altercation with then Michigan State Hockey player A.J. Sturges who had suffered a fractured skull and concussion. Winston was sentenced to 4 months in prison, 2 years of probation and ordered to enter a behavior/substance abuse program. He was reinstated by the football team in August.

glenn winston 1Mark Dantonio, Head Coach of the team at the time had this to say: “Glenn has done everything that he’s been asked to do from a judicial and a team standpoint. He has paid the penalty for his actions – publicly, legally and athletically – and he worked hard to maintain his academic eligibility while doing so. We regret the entire incident, however at this time, it is important that we support Glenn socially, academically and athletically. He still has a lot of work to do.”

Unfortunately, Winston was once again in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was unprovokingly attacked by a frat member on campus. The following night, Winston and teammates went to look for the man who battered him – a brawl ensued. That night Winston knew his time at MSU was over. He called his coach and was to report first thing in the morning. A few days later he was officially released from the team, but worse, he broke parole and was to serve another 6 months.

Winston paid his debt to society and was once again square with the house; he was ready to move on and continue his football career. He bounced around home to home and at once point had to resort to sleeping in a friends car. Glenn reached out to a former MSU coach who put him in contact with his trainer, Jeffrey Johnson.

“He’s a life changer” said Winston “He took me off the streets and guided me into the man I am. He gave me some tools, even sat me down. Jeffrey is a true mentor, he himself has been through a lot, even more than I have. He’s someone to listen to. Jeffrey opened his home to me, he trusts me around his wife and kids – that means the world to me. I’m forever in debt to him.”

Glenn winston 2Winston enrolled at Northwood last season and ran for over 700 yards and 9 touchdowns. Even with one more year of eligibility left, he turned some scouts heads at Eastern Michigan’s pro day. One scout, who didn’t even attend his pro day, contacted Winston’s agent. The scout was quoted as saying:

“Wow! I was scouting a couple players from Saginaw Valley and watched the game film vs. Northwood. Winston stole the show. He has tremendous burst and speed, and I can’t believe how big and strong he is. I can only imagine how many yards he would have if he still played at Michigan State. He is no longer a secret.” 

Winston, now 25 has matured and is looking for one final opportunity to prove he is a changed man. “He’s not a ticking time bomb … he went through some things in life like I have, like  most of my teammates and most of my friends and everything else, and he’s fine” said trainer and mentor Jeffrey Johnson.

Glenn himself added to how much of a changed man he is.

“I was a young 19 year old man who made a few bad decisions – which was the key element in my MSU departure. Now I’m 25 and I wish I could tell my younger self to change so I can better my career.” He later added “I learned to never act on your first thought. Breathe. Think situations out and act accordingly. I used to act before I thought, but now I’m a much wiser decision maker. I have a lot to lose now and can’t not help but think about the blessed situation I’m in right now. I don’t want to lose everything I’ve worked for.”

When asked if he felt obligated to prove himself to his critics …

“Absolutely. That’s one of the main goals I’m striving for. I have to repaint my picture. I’m not a bad guy and I want to show the world that. What other way to do that then showcase yourself on the football field and be an utmost standing, blue collar citizen off of it? I go to neighborhoods to mentor younger guys in similar situations to what I was once in. I also help reconstruct senior citizen front lawns when they couldn’t do certain things. I love being in a position to help someone and give an image on what one should and shouldn’t do in certain situations.”

Glenn Winston is now 6’1”, 227 pounds and runs an extraordinary 4.38-4.42 clocked 40. He can put up 225 pounds 35 times, has a vertical of 38” and broad jumps over 10′. He suffered a torn ACL in 2010 but is “150% healed from it. “I’m stronger, faster, quicker and just looking for an opportunity. I have minimal wear and tear on my body, I’m ready.”

“Playing in the NFL would be a childhood dream come true. To be able to do something you love for a period of your life would be nothing short of awesome.”

Glenn is not on social media, but his agent can be reached on Twitter: @BradBerkowitz

Follow Josh Elkin on Twitter: @JoshElkin

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