US sprint sensation Trayvon Brommell is set to embark on his first season as a professional athlete, after signing a sponsorship deal with sportswear company New Balance.
From humble beginnings in Florida, the teenager has taken the world of track and field by storm in the past 18 months, turning heads when he broke the 10-second barrier at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2014.
Since the 19-year-old has shown the world his talents, picking up bronze in 100m at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing at the close of what he been a promising season.
“I knew after Worlds and medalling, I knew that I could get a good contract, so my main thing was to figure things out with my family,” Bromell told Sports Illustrated.
“We felt that right now was the best decision. We weren’t big on taking chances for next year. In a moment like this, it’s a 50-50 chance if you decide to go back to school. You could get injured and your value would drop. We felt like the opportunity was in our face.”
Dubbed my many as the ‘new Usain Bolt’, Brommell will be represented by the Jamaican’s agent Ricky Simms forgoeing the two years of eligibility he has left with the NCAA. With the World Indoor championships on home soil and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro looming, he couldn’t have chosen a better time to go pro.
A student at Baylor University, Texas, Brommell was initially reticent in talking about entering the world of professional athletics. He mentioned a promise made to his mother that he would complete his degree in Communications, and even consider getting a master’s degree. In July, Brommell made it clear that even if he were to pursure a professional career in track and field, he will continue to learn.
“I know I’m probably not like everyone else because I love college. I love gaining knowledge. And I know that a college degree to going to eventually help me get a job once I’m finished with track. It’s not going to last forever.
“Whatever I do, I will make sure my college education is paid for.”
Still a teenager, Brommell very much looks to be the future of US sprinting, but life could have been very different for him, had his mother not pushed him to persevere with the sport after quitting in middle school for a chance in the NFL:
“My mom kept saying, ‘You should run track.’ You should give it a try, don’t just quit on it.’ I kept pushing and working hard and getting stronger from my injuries and God blessed me with an opportunity, and I took advantage of it. Moms always know best.”
His preparations won’t be all too different next season, as he plans to stay in Waco, Texas with his college coach Todd Harour at the Baylor Bears and intends to continue taking classes.