When Khris Bogle was in middle school, he faced a crossroads: basketball or football.
He decided on the gridiron and now the junior defensive end has gained scholarship offers from more than 30 schools, including Clemson, Florida State and Alabama.
Bogle played on both the football and basketball team during his freshman year at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“I think at one point he wanted to play basketball in college, but he realized that his ceiling was higher in football and he had a lot of talent,” said head football coach Matt DuBuc.
During his first football season, Bogle said he didn’t get to play much and he considered quitting.
“I told a lot of people that I didn’t think it was for me,” he said. “When I told my coach, he told me to keep going because my time was going to come and I did.”
Said DuBuc: “Khris is very strong-willed and I don’t give in to [players] when they try to take the easy way out. I told him that he was still young and he was going to get better.”
Bogle’s patience paid off and he started during his sophomore season. He credited DuBuc, who he said played a father-figure role, for keeping him focused.
“Coach inspires me and he keeps me motivated,” Bogle said. “He also tells me how to step up and what’s right and wrong, how to be a good man.”
Bogle said he has also been supported by his friends and family, which includes his 19-year-old sister and his mother, Octavia Bates.
“I’m a mama’s boy and my mom does everything for me,” Bogle said. “My mom gets on me all the time because she doesn’t want to see me struggle.”
Throughout grade school, Bogle said he never questioned whether he was going to play college football, seeing it as a route to stay away from the temptations of his hometown.
“It’s a good area but really, people get scholarships because they are really good in school, or they play sports in school,” he said. “If not, people can wind up on the streets.”
Said DuBuc: “I’m not sure it’s that cut and dry, but the kids I coach have goals and football gives them the opportunity to go to college and do well. Other times, I see many kids who don’t take advantage of that and they don’t go very far.”
Going into his senior season, Bogle said his goal is for the team to reach states. The team made it to the regional finals but lost in overtime during the 2017 season.
“Every time I get frustrated, I just work harder because I have something to prove to myself and everyone who doubted me,” he said.