At first glance, Tom Console is a sprint football player. But, to only label him as this would be a mistake.
Console is so much more. He is honest, a leader, a participant in Army ROTC, the president of the Penn Star Wars club, a future veterinarian — the list goes on.
In the coming offseason, Penn sprint football will be losing the senior defensive back and captain Console, a three-year starter whose impact on the team extends far beyond the field.
Since arriving on campus in 2015, Console has been a rock on the defensive side of the ball, continuing his high-level production this season. Through five contests, Console has broken up two passes, recorded one interception, and made 21 total tackles, adding to his already impressive 38 tackle, three interception campaign in 2017.
“I haven’t been targeted too much by opposing quarterbacks so there hasn’t been many opportunities for big plays,” Console said. “But I’ve been consistent and all the guys around me have stepped up.”
Beyond his tangible attributes, Console brings a sense of leadership to the team. He anchors a defense that was forced to step up even more with the injury of junior starting quarterback Eddie Jenkins earlier in the season.
“He leads by example and he’s a really physical, tough, smart, young football player,” coach Bill Wagner said. “Hopefully he’s been able to instill that kind of leadership in the freshman. [They’re] under his tutorship. During the game he’s like the quarterback of the defensive secondary.”
Console has also been a major factor in game planning and defensive strategy. He has always gone the extra mile when studying film and enjoys sitting in with coaches to discuss how to defeat the next opponent. He provides his own analysis of the game film, breaking down the offensive tendencies of the opposing teams.
“I don’t know how he does all of the different breakdowns and tendencies and percentages of offenses' run and pass formations and puts it all together and presents it to us,” Wagner said.
However, beyond the X's and O's, Console cherishes his relationships with his teammates above all.
“My favorite moments are all of the bus rides up to games together as a defense and as a team. We get to just hang out and get to know each other,” Console said. “I’ll miss the family and the brotherhood. Everyone on the team is friends and I’ve made some friends that I will have for life.”
Beyond football, Console is involved in a wide range of activities at Penn. With being a student-athlete, ROTC member, and president of a club, Console has prided himself on keeping his priorities in line throughout his time at Penn.
“It gets tough at times to balance these, but my parents instilled into me as a kid [that] if you want to do something, you find a way to do it,” Console said.
After this season, Console will move on from Penn and look to achieve his goals of becoming a veterinarian. After consistently helping his teammates on the field, getting the chance to help others off the field is a perfect match for his personality.
Before vet school, he will look to finish up the final stretch of the season on a high note. This Friday, he and the rest of Penn sprint football will square off against Navy in their final home game of the year. A victory would give them the South division title and a bid to play in the Collegiate Sprint Football League championship.
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