Courtesy of Birmingham-Southern Ahtletics
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Oct. 16, 2019) – For Ivan Villageois his plans weren't always to play football for Birmingham-Southern. Originally hailing all the way from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Villageois moved to Montgomery, Alabama for high school. Despite not playing organized football until the seventh grade, he performed well on the field and started getting recruited. Late in his high school career, he received a scholarship to play for an NCAA Division II team and committed to play there. However, on signing day, the school pulled his scholarship.
Villageois was forced to reopen his recruitment and search for another school. "Coming out of high school I had a lot of friends that already went [to Birmingham-Southern]," he said, "so I was always visiting campus. I enjoyed the people I was always around. They kind of brought me in before I even decided I was going to come here." In the end, it came down to Birmingham-Southern and Huntington for Villageois. It was an easy choice.
Despite it not being the original plan, Villageois has fully embraced Birmingham-Southern. He is a math major and media and film studies minor. "Math has always been a thing I've enjoyed growing up," he said. "My creative side is in writing, so I took a screenwriting class and I found I had time to pick up a minor, so I decided to minor in [media and film studies]."
After his college days are done, Villageois wants to be a high school teacher and football coach. He did an internship with local high school Briarwood Christian School and worked as a defensive backs coach. Villageois would love to stay in Birmingham and work for Briarwood after school, but if the opportunity presents itself, he'd also love to play football overseas in Germany. The German football league is the third-biggest American football league in the world behind the NFL and the Canadian Football League. But no matter what happens with his football career, Villageois hopes to find himself back in Birmingham as a coach eventually.
The connections that Birmingham-Southern provides is one of the things that makes the school a special place to him. The Briarwood internship stemmed from these connections. On top of that, relationships with friends are just as important to him. "Everyone at BSC has a goal they want to achieve," said Villageois. "Being friends with these people later in life will help me out with whatever I decide to do."
Villageois's sports role model is star safety for the New York Jets, Jamal Adams. He elaborated on his admiration of Adams saying, "I watched him at LSU and just saw the way he holds himself. He knows the whole defense, knows where everyone is supposed to be, and voices that and makes sure everyone is lined up before the play. Whereas other guys are trying to just do their part." Villageois takes this to heart by practicing it in his own life. Whether it's adjusting coverage on defense, encouraging a teammate to get one last rep in the weight room, or insisting that his peers take care of their studies, he is always there to motivate and ensure the best possible product is put out there.
His advice for any high school senior seeking to become a college athlete is to really savor the final moments on the field with the people you have played with. Once the season is done, however, he stresses preparation for the next level is key. "When you get to college, you're kind of restarting," Villageois said. "You're a freshman again and it's not easy coming in as a freshman, and you're going to go through a lot." Despite the trials the college game presents, he says to just trust the coaches and play your role, and soon enough your time will come.
Off the field, Villageois's favorite place to visit in Puerto Rico. He went on a vacation at the end of Summer with his family and best friend from Philadelphia and had a blast going to beaches, rainforests, and castles. He'd like to go farther south to Brazil to experience the culture there one day.
What is your favorite food?
Who is you favorite music artist/band?
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Not pushing in chairs when you get up.
What is your favorite holiday?
Cats or dogs?
Dogs for sure.
What is your favorite sports team?
What is your favorite TV show?
How I Met Your Mother.
What is your favorite candy?
Hot weather or cold weather?