Finding a New Home

By Tauskie Dove

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When I say Memphis Football, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Maybe it’s the iconic blue jersey, the team’s rich history, or perhaps it’s a needle in the haystack moment attending games at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium as a student.

Memphis football, for me, is synonymous with my journey to becoming a Tiger.

It’s about persistence, resilience, and enthusiasm.

For the game

My cousin was the one who introduced me to football.

It started simple.

I was just throwing the pigskin back and forth in the backyard.

From there, I moved to East Texas and began playing Pee Wee.

If you know anything about Texas, it’s that we love our football, and that love rubbed off on me and hasn’t come off since.

As the years passed and my game grew, I knew I could make it to the DI level.

It was just a matter of timing and opportunity coming together.

And when push came to shove, I got a chance to play for Mizzou, and I embraced the challenge.

It was an incredible journey that allowed me to get the education I wanted and play the game at a high level.

Still, when it was all said and done, I wanted more.

I wanted new challenges and new horizons to walk towards.

When looking at my next step, I was focused on making the biggest impact I could at a place that could take me to the next level.

That place was Memphis.

Sticking with the dream

Choosing to be a Tiger was an easy decision for me.

From top to bottom, it’s a world-class program, and I have countless stories from athletic trainers to coaches and players who have embraced me, taken me under their wing, and made me feel like Memphis is just as much my home as East Texas.

Being here has been a dream come true, but every dream has its nightmares.

I was running a standard route during spring practice when I broke my foot.

An injury like that so early into our training was disappointing and discouraging.

It’s easy to start getting down on yourself and frustrated with the situation with a setback like this.

Choosing to be a Tiger was an easy decision for me. From top to bottom, it's a world-class program, and I have countless stories from athletic trainers to coaches and players who have embraced me, taken me under their wing, and made me feel like Memphis is just as much my home as East Texas.

Fighting adversity

Luckily, we have amazing trainers, and our teammates really are like family.

Here to lift you up and give you that boost when needed.

When I think of this team and being a Tiger, we are a resilient bunch!

Up and down the roster, you have dozens of stories of people getting after it in life despite their trials and tribulations, fighting to be their best and becoming that against all odds.

It’s inspired and inspiring.

If my teammates can go through what they’ve gone through to become who they are, so can I.

It wasn’t always easy, and day to day, I had moments of doubt, but I never quit, and what doesn’t break you makes you stronger.

I fought my way back on the field, and before I knew it, this wasn’t a new place.

This was my home.

I went from dreaming of becoming a DI athlete to trying to make a historic impact on a program.

That’s what I’m trying to do here in Memphis.

We all are.

It’s about leaving our mark on a program that has changed our lives.

Eyes on the prize

While it can be fun to reminisce, I’m more focused on what’s to come — helping this team be the best version of itself, taking my game to the next level, and working on my personal goals.

If you dream it, you can do it, but first, you must speak it into existence.

I want to be a professional football player one day, and to do that, I’m going to have to continue to build and grow with this program and follow the path of other Tiger legends before me.

It’s about taking care of the daily details here in Memphis.

If I wake up each day and move with passion, persistence, and enthusiasm, there’s nowhere I can’t go and nothing I can’t achieve.

It’s all about making today good and tomorrow better.

If you do that and string together multiple good days, that’s how you build the momentum toward the life of your dreams.

It’s what’s gotten me this far, and it hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

Just keep moving in kindness and compassion, and watch what special things can happen here in the South!