Rising RA senior Jacob Mullins values brotherhood on the football field

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, June 13, 2018

RESERVE — Rising Riverside Academy senior Jacob Mullins says a new roster and the strategy of head coach Kevin Dizer won’t change the dynamic of the Rebels football program this fall.

The program will continue to be bound by brotherhood and guided by heart, according to Mullins.

For the past four years, he’s taken inspiration from teammates who pushed him to be the best person he can be on the defensive line and off the field.

“Once you have the brotherhood, then you have the heart,” Mullins said. “Once you have the heart, you’re unstoppable. We have one goal and one goal only, and that’s to be the best that we can be. I’m ready to go after it.”

Mullins has always enjoyed summer conditioning, viewing weight lifting as the perfect opportunity to build strength and connections with teammates.

Riverside Academy defensive lineman Jacob Mullins lifts weights Monday during summer conditioning. Head football coach Kevin Dizer describes Mullins as a self-made player.

After watching his older brother play for St. Charles Catholic, Mullins decided to give football a shot at age 12. A passion for the sport came after he met the people who would take to the field with the same goal.

Mullins’ favorite football memory was Riverside Academy’s 2016 championship win. What he remembers most isn’t the cheers and congratulations, but the intense focus that came before the victory.

“Everyone was honed in, supporting and motivating one another,” Mullins said.

“Once you get a taste of what other people can do out there, you can’t get enough of it. You see these players around you who started from nothing and built themselves up to be great people. That’s how I want to be.”

Though new to the head football coach position, Dizer has coached the defensive line for years, and he’s seen Mullins grow into a leading force.

According to Dizer, Mullins represents a self-made player, someone who comes onto the team without the advantage of natural athleticism and builds toward greatness with sheer determination.

“Jacob has worked his butt off to get where he is right now, and he’s a great example to the younger kids to show what hard work can do,” Dizer said.

“He’s completely improved and transitioned his body. He was a skinny, scrawny kid who didn’t have a position to play. We moved him around and finally found his fit on the defensive line.”

Dizer said Mullins is “an absolute warrior” in summer workouts, and he could be one of the upperclass leaders to step up next season.

“We need some more leadership to emerge,” Dizer said. “Last year, the vibe was state championship or bust. This year, we’re going into it with no expectations, and we’re just looking to fight.”

Mullins said leadership comes from example.

“If I give everything that I have, it’s going to motivate other people,” Mullins said. “I become responsible for everybody and their actions. We might not have the same group, but we have the same heart, and we just have to rebuild.”

After graduation, Mullins wants to continue on a path of self-improvement by pursuing a career in professional aviation at Louisiana Tech University.

Tired of being stuck on the ground, Mullins sought out contacts at the recent St. John Parish Aviation Awareness Day to fulfill his long-standing fascination with aircraft.