Although Howard County is teeming with some of the best athletes in the state, and many of these athletes play their sport at a very high level, few have gone very far in football like Josiah Price has.
The 2012 Eastern High School graduate not only dominated all court for four years in Greentown, but also became one of the most decorated tight ends in Big Ten history at Michigan State before a few years. with the Minnesota Vikings. . Looking back on his journey in football, Price said the journey had been unreal and he was immensely blessed.
“It was a pretty impressive experience. I think every kid who loves the sport grows up dreaming of playing in the NFL, NBA, or whatever sport they dream of playing at the highest level professionally. And for me, it was cool to be able to live that dream for a short time, ”said Price. “It was a great opportunity to be able to reach the top level, especially coming from where I’m from in the Kokomo region.”
Growing up in Howard County, a very competitive and athletic area in the Midwest, gave Price an advantage, he said. He has always enjoyed playing multiple sports and has been involved in track and field, basketball and football his entire life.
At Eastern, Price has been listed as one of the country’s most coveted tight ends by 247Sports.com (No. 16), and Rivaux.com (No. 19), and was named to the All-Midwest SuperPrep and PrepStar teams. Price was twice named to the Indiana Football Coaches Association’s All-State Top 50 and won the Associated Press All-State First Team (Class 2A) honors as a senior. He was twice selected to the first team in all regions and conferences, and was named the State’s best senior tight end by the IFCA under the Mr. Football program.
Below is a breakdown of some of Price’s stats at Eastern, by Michigan State Athletics:
• 39 receptions for 524 yards and four touchdowns in 2011
• 59 tackles, including 19.5 for losses with 13 sacks in 2011
• career best 41 catches for 574 yards and eight touchdowns in 2010
• 95 tackles, 23 for loss with 10 sacks as a junior
• 130 career receptions for 1,920 yards (average 14.8)
• 29 career touchdowns
• 1,000-point career milestone in basketball as a senior
“I loved being the multisport athlete,” said Price. “I think the region I grew up in was great. There are definitely a lot of sporting rivalries and good athletes in the region and successful teams.”
After Price wrapped up his junior campaign, the offers started to arrive. It really hit home that he was to become a Division I football player, something he had dreamed of all his life.
Building a legacy
Before joining the Spartans, Price said he was studying his options. He knew he wanted to stay close to home, so Indiana, Purdue and Notre Dame weighed heavily on his mind, he said. But during his visit to Michigan, a conversation with then-coach Mark Dantonio really resonated with him.
“For me, it ultimately came down to people. I think at first you just dreamed of being able to play varsity sports, and then once you get a few offers you’re like, “Cow, I’m going to play Division I football.” Then you start to be a little more specific and really see what will work best for you, ”he said. “When I visited Michigan State I felt right at home. Coach Dantonio had a slightly different recruiting pitch.
In short, this talk was about making boys into men, becoming givers not takers, and developing as a person instead of just focusing on making the NFL. Going to MSU would become the most important decision in Price’s life. Here he would build a legacy.
It was a matter of expediency, and MSU gave Price a lot of chances. He took advantage of it early on. As a four-year-old starter, Price appeared in every game of his first season, leading every tight end in MSU with 17 receptions for 210 yards and four touchdown receptions.
Below is a breakdown of some of Price’s college stats in four years, according to MSU athletics.
• 104 catches for 1,238 yards (average of 11.9)
• 21 touchdowns in 51 career games (35th all-time in the Big Ten)
• 25 departures
• career ended first in MSU history among tight ends with 21 career TDs, fourth among all MSU players
• Twice in the Big Ten third team in 2015, 2016
• Semifinalist of the 2016 Wuerffel Trophy (exceptional community service)
• 2016 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete semi-finalist
• Two-time Mackey Award Mid-Season Watchlist
“For me, looking back on my background, there is no other way that I would have preferred to write it. I had a great experience and I wouldn’t change a thing at all. Michigan State was awesome to me and I loved the trip, ”Price said.
After graduating from MSU in 2016, Price was an undrafted free agent despite his monster numbers in the Big Ten. This meant that making a final roster of 53 players would be a very difficult task for him. During his rookie season, Price went through the training camp process with the Vikings, getting minimal reps and not enough opportunities to show off his skills, he said.
In the end, Price was cut with the other tight ends of the rookies. During this period of his life, Price said he was considering his future in football as he was about to get married and start his new life. He went to call his agent and retired, but fate had other plans in the spring of 2018.
“I called my agent that morning to retire. It would have been free agency in March 2018. I texted him and said, ‘Call me when you get the chance. We need to talk.’ I was going to tell her that I’m done, that I have to move on, I’m getting married and everything and I wanted to have a little bit of stability, ”Price said. “He called me right away and said, ‘Hey, I didn’t have a chance to call you last night, but we have Kirk. [Cousins]the agreement is locked. I also got you a contract. Congratulations, you are a Viking. ‘ I was like, ‘What the hell is this?’ “
It was Price’s luck. He was told he would receive the majority of tight snaps in the upcoming preseason games because the coach and general manager wanted to see him play. It was finally an opportunity for Price to show off his skills and start his career in the NFL. He called his family to tell them the good news, happy to get to work.
The next day in training, Price tore his ACL, ending his career.
“By the time I was finally going to have my opportunity, I was looking, because in sports that’s all you can ask for… I was finally going to have this opportunity, and God had bigger plans,” said Price.
Despite an unhappy end to a wonderful football career, Price is not bitter. Still passionate about football and a supporter of Eastern High School, Price said he will never forget the city that showed him his love of football and paved the way for all of his success. But after football, life took an interesting turn.
A new start in the west
After getting married, Price and his wife, Christine, were looking for a fresh start in 2019. Growing up, Price said he was homeschooled until grade six, which gave him the opportunity. unique to see many different parts of the country.
Some of his fondest memories are from the American West. It’s a hauntingly beautiful place, he said, and after a life of football in the flat Midwest, when football ended, he said he knew where they wanted to start over.
“I was just like, ‘It’s our time. Let’s go live in a cool place. Let’s go west, ”Price said. “We looked at a bunch of cities. Denver was one of them. Boise was another. Salt Lake was another.
“But after coming to Salt Lake City, we fell in love with it. It’s so close to the mountains with accessibility for camping, hiking, skiing, and then all of the west in general. We are like the central hub of the west. Within a six hour drive there are like 12 national parks and incredible views. So that was our biggest driving force and we also developed careers around moving. “
Christine got a business transfer to Salt Lake, as did Price to a tech company he was working for at the time. Today Price is a high school football coach and business teacher at Brighton High School in Salt Lake City, imparting his knowledge of the game he loves to the city he loves.
Although his NFL career was unsuccessful, Price was still able to live a life of a unique footballer. He’s one of the best tight ends of the Big Ten to ever play the game, an MSU legend and a Howard County icon on the grill. Plus, he now lives in one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in America with the woman he loves. Not bad.
“I always say that everything happens for a reason. God busted my knee when it busted, and God made me not be fished out. And I firmly believe that it all happened for the right reasons. I couldn’t be happier where I am today which has brought me to Salt Lake City. Now I teach and coach and impact a ton of kids who were in the same shoes as me when I was at Eastern. So I couldn’t ask for a different shot or a better picture than where I am, ”Price said.