Everyone takes a slightly different path through life and Sumter High School’s Michael Komorah is no different.
Like 10 of his teammates on the Sumter football team, Komorah will get the chance to play college football next year, but he isn’t taking the same route.
While the other Sumter football players signed their football scholarships, Komorah will head to Wingate as a preferred walk-on. He’s able to take this path because of his excellent performance in the classroom, as Wingate is offering the Gamecock offensive lineman a slew of academic scholarships to attend the school. It’s an opportunity that Sumter head coach Mark Barnes is glad he has the chance to take.
“(Komorah) has done such a good job academically that he’s created a situation for himself where football is a part of what he’s going to do, but not all of what he’s going to do,” said Barnes “He is a preferred walk-on, but he has a lot of academic scholarship money going with him, so he’s probably got one of the better deals of all the players signing today.”
Komorah is glad that his hard work in the classroom and on the football field has combined to open the door to head to Wingate.
“Honestly, it was exciting because I know that I’m ready for the next phase in my life. I have accomplished something that many others have not,” said Komorah. “From a young age to now, many people around me have been watching me play football, telling me that I’m going to be someone special. I signed to continue my football career at Wingate University because I believe in myself.”
The Sumter lineman chose Wingate because it provided the best of both worlds. The combination of academic and football opportunities was too good to pass up.
“I weighed my options between multiple colleges,” said Komorah. “By trying my hardest on the gridiron and in the classroom, I got the best I offer I can ever receive. For athletics, I wanted the best program and equipment in order to help me be successful during and after my college career.
“Wingate appeals to me because it fits my criteria of what is best for everyone including me,” continued the Sumter senior. “As a bonus, it is close to home.”
While academics play a big role for Komorah, so does performance on the football field. Barnes said Komorah is the exact kind of team-first player that programs love to have around.
“Michael will do a great job. He’s an ultimate team player,” said the Sumter football coach. “He was a defensive lineman coming up, we asked him to move to offensive line for us his junior year, and he did a great job there for us. He’s been a 2-year starter.
“And Wingate does a great job, it’s a good program. I know the guys that coach there from my time in North Carolina, and I feel very comfortable that he’ll fit right in. He likes that area, and I think that he will do a good job there and certainly earn some playing time as his career goes on.”
Komorah said he appreciated having the safety net that his academic scholarships provide, but that doesn’t mean it takes any pressure off of his desire to succeed on the gridiron.
“It helps a lot knowing that I have an academic scholarship, knowing that I have something to fall back on if something happens suddenly where I cannot continue my career,” said Komorah. “It does not relieve any pressure to succeed because my mentality is based on competing with others to prove that I’m the best on the field and off the field.”
Much like his path to Wingate, Komorah’s most anticipated activities in college involve both the classroom and the football field.
“I’m looking forward to pursuing my business and entrepreneurship career and also experiencing the student life around college,” said Komorah. “Football is a plus with the coaching staff, future teammates and fans of the program.”