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SAAC Spotlight: Central Washington's Drew Wallen
Drew Wallen redshirted his freshman year with the Wildcats in 2014.
Drew Wallen redshirted his freshman year with the Wildcats in 2014.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Part of a regular series.

Throughout the year, GNACsports.com uses this space to profile conference student-athletes who are members of their respective institutions' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). In addition to providing feedback on the student-athlete experience, conference and institutional SAAC members also offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes' lives on NCAA member institution campuses. Click here for more information on the function of SAAC at the NCAA level.

 

Drew Wallen
Central Washington University
Football
Freshman
Auburn, Wash.

College major:
Broadcast Journalism

Extracurricular activities:
Play by play commentator for the CWU Men's and Women's Basketball teams; sports reporter and talk show host on 88.1 The Burg (campus radio); member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes; volunteer coach for the Ellensburg Youth Basketball League; junior counselor at various leadership camps.

Why did you choose to attend CWU?
The location from home was perfect for my family and I was given an amazing opportunity to continue to play the game I love.

What is your favorite class you have taken in college and why?
Drugs and Sports, it was a class of all athletes that meant once a week to be educated on drugs, alcohol, and other substances. It was humorous, lively, and very informative.

Who is your favorite professor you've had in college and what did you enjoy about learning from him or her?
My favorite professor so far has been Dr. Briggs. Not only is he a great teacher, he is an incredible person and has played a big impact on my spiritual life.

Years involved in SAAC:
One

The reason I chose to get involved in SAAC:
I wanted an opportunity to get involved around my campus and help spread positivity through the athletic department!

Most memorable SAAC activity:
There was a fall sports "pep assembly" that consisted of all the fall sports competing in numerous funny activities against each other. Personally, some of my football teammates and I participated in the lip syncing portion of the competition where we sang "Get Down On It" by Kool & The Gang. It was an awesome time and some of the female athletes told me I was a good dancer afterwards, so that was a plus.

If I could change one NCAA rule, it would be:
I think the policy on using banned drugs should be more severe. There should be no tolerance for cheating in athletics. That makes it an uneven playing field. Sports need to be about fun and competition, there's no reason for someone to give themselves an unfair advantage.

What is the most important thing you've learned from balancing the demands of athletics and academics?
You have to prioritize if you want to stay afloat. You will sink to the bottom if you let unnecessary things come between you and your obligations. It's also important to make sure your mental health is in check; taking time out of your day to pray and be thankful makes every day seem like a blessing and keeps you positive.

What does it mean to be a Division II student-athlete?
It means the world to me!! I was one of those kids who wasn't given the biggest muscles or the fastest legs, so I had to work as hard as I possibly could in high school to give myself a chance at the next level. Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to play college sports, which I am extremely grateful for.

Current mentor(s):
David Goethals, Sammy Henderson, Ken Briggs.

Future goals after school:
I want to continue to pursue a career in the broadcasting field. Specifically, I would love to do play-by-play commentary for high school, college, and professional athletics. Along with that, I want to stay actively involved in my community and church. I want to use my broadcasting career as a platform to give back to those less fortunate. When I'm done with broadcasting, there's nothing that I would enjoy more than to coach a high school basketball team.

Biggest obstacle overcame during collegiate career:
Making the transition from high school football (where I was the senior captain and leader of my team) to college football (where I was the "low man on the totem pole") was very challenging for me. Going from the top of a team to having to prove yourself again was brutal, but the mental resilience it took to make that transition made me grow as a player and person.

Best advice I’d give to an incoming freshman:
Get involved in as many activities as possible, meet as many people as possible, you never know which experience or relationship could lead you to your true passion!!

If I could spend the day with one person (past or present), who would it be (and why)?
Other than Jesus, I'd have to pick Steve Carell. He played my favorite character from my all-time favorite TV show, The Office. I'm trying to think of something I would ask him, but I think I would just be so star struck when I met him I would just freeze.

Favorite sports team:
Seattle Seahawks

Favorite athlete:
Tom Brady

Most memorable sports-related moment:
My entire senior season of football in high school, there was nothing better than playing the game I loved with 60 of my best friends whom I had spent my entire childhood growing up with.

One thing that people don't know about me is:
I played competitive table tennis up until about 4 years ago and I sing in the choir.

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