Football players have so much to do during the summer, it is rare for them to find the time for a job or an internship. But we found a few Big East players who have somehow managed to juggle classes, workouts and a summer job. Today we begin a little "summer vacation" series.
The day begins with the rising sun. Victor Anderson feeds the horses first, then goes on to his long to-do list: weed whacking the farm, fixing fence posts, cleaning stalls, dumping straw, talking with the veterinarian.
Then it is off to work just as grueling -- the Louisville weight room for offseason conditioning. The days are quite long, but the senior running back is a man so committed to his future, his summer job has become as valuable to him as extra reps on the field.
Anderson hopes what he is learning at Longfield Farm just outside of Louisville will prepare him to one day own a farm and horses of his own.
“It's been a thing I've grown up thinking,” Anderson recalled recently in a phone conversation. “Just being out in the open and having your own land, it is so peaceful. You can relax. I love being around horses. They are such beautiful animals. Being able to watch them at my job has been a great experience.”
Anderson promised coach Charlie Strong he would be able to get all his workouts in during spring practice and this summer, in between his work on the farm. Strong gave his blessing. But that doesn’t mean Anderson has avoided being teased. If he shows up for workouts after being on the farm, there is a certain stench that is stuck to his clothes.
“They just joke around saying, ‘Oh, that’s what you think of us around here?’” Anderson said.
All kidding aside, Anderson has done plenty and learned plenty since he started in April. He has gotten real hands-on work with the horses, watching some in training at Skylight Farm. He also got to go to Claiborne Farm and see two of the mares from Longfield get bred to stallions there.
Anderson primarily has worked with the mares and babies at Longfield. He enjoys feeding them peppermints from his hand, which they nibble off with their lips. What does he like most?
“Being around the horses,” Anderson said. “The guys I work with are great. They have taught me so many amazing things as far as how are horses different, just like people. I see the blacksmith, trimming the horses’ hooves. I have learned a lot from the doctor, too. So now I will know how to do a lot of these things myself on my own farm.”
Anderson developed his love for horses thanks to his late grandmother, who loved to go to the horse track. Her inspiration remains with him to this day.
“She loved horses and she loved the excitement of those animals,” he said. “It’s something I'll always remember her by.”
Anderson plans to work on the farm until practice starts in August. But there will be no time to rest. Not with his senior season ahead.