Recently, QB Velocity had the pleasure of interviewing one of it's own, Receivers coach Mike Sumrell.
Talk about what it was like growing up in Boston. Did you live there your whole life?
"I was born and raised in Dorchester, MA. I spent most of my time between Roxbury and Dorchester, which is considered the inner city of Boston. Those that are from the city recognize the difference between the “travel network Boston” vs. the Boston where the locals stay. Just like anywhere, some dynamics of the city force you to grow up fast and think on your feet to avoid pitfalls, but there’s a lot of love and positivity in this city."
What sports did you play growing up?
"Growing up I played everything - basketball, football, ice hockey, baseball, ran track and even tried skateboarding for a hot minute. I can definitely say playing multiple sports really developed my natural athletic ability. I’m a competitive guy so any new challenge is exciting for me."
How was your experience at Belmont high?
"Being a part of the METCO program was an eye-opening experience. I had the opportunity to attend Belmont High School, and although it wasn’t the most convenient commute, it prepared me to succeed in life. It’s almost like having two different worlds. You have your school life out in the suburbs which is a completely different way of living, then you have your home life back in the city. You learn how to maneuver in a variety of situations - something that many kids don’t get the chance to experience. One thing I don’t miss is waking up at 5:30am every morning to get to school lol."
What was your recruiting process like? What made you choose Bentley?
"The recruiting process for me was pretty painless coming out of high school. I performed well on both sides of the ball and was selected as a Shriners All-Star my senior year at WR. The summer before that I attended some regional football camps and gained interest from scouts at the D1, D2 and D3 levels. Bentley (D2) had shown interest early on and I kept in contact. As the son of an entrepreneur I took an early liking to business. I knew I wanted to study business in college so I looked at each school academically the same way they looked at me athletically: What skills will this school provide me with? What advantages will I gain from this school? How competitive is the learning environment? I did a few recruiting visits to other schools but when I visited Bentley I knew that was where I wanted to be."
Bentley is an extremely prestigious academic school. How did you balance being on the football team, academics and social life?
"I think a lot of student athletes don’t realize the time commitment sports will demand. For me, there was definitely an adjustment period, but once you figure it out it’s all about time management. Realistically the life of a student athlete is broken down into 3 activities: school, sports, and social life. The key is to pick two, because three is nearly impossible. Some athletes pick sports + social life and you see their grades suffer. Some pick school + social life and you see their play suffer. My magic combo was school + sports during the season, and then I’d rotate between school + social life / social life + sports in the off-season. Once I learned how to go just as hard in the classroom as I did on the field it was like unlocking a super power."
What did you major in at Bentley? What made you choose to study this?
"I was a management major with a minor in finance. After school I chose to enter the banking and finance field, a decision I’ve been happy with. I’ve been exposed to business from a young age by way of my father who is an entrepreneur. I knew I liked to find creative ways to make money, but I wanted to figure out how it works and how the world works around it. Regarding my management studies, I’ve always been a leader and enjoyed working on a team. I wanted to learn skills that would help me run my own business one day."
How was your experience playing at Bentley?
"I loved my time as an athlete at Bentley. We ran the spread offense during my time there which was a dream come true for a WR. It was a competitive environment and we did well, finishing with a record of 28-12 over my four years, with one league title. I still keep in contact with my Bentley Football family to this day. College football really taught me to take pride in execution, develop good film study habits, and sharpen my game IQ."
Yourself and the IOFC team played an instrumental part in my playing career as well as me as a person. Explain what IOFC is and who is involved with it.
"Inside Out Fitness Concepts (IOFC) is our family owned and operated strength and conditioning facility in Roxbury, MA. My father, Joe Sumrell, a former multi-sport athlete and professional bodybuilder, started IOFC in 1996. Since then, we’ve spent the last 20+ years developing a number of high school, collegiate, semi-pro and professional athletes, as well as everyday clients such as fire fighters, police officers, teachers, etc."
What made you start IOFC Hands team?
"Since graduating college in 2013, I began working privately with local high school and collegiate wide receivers. WR skill development has always been my passion, and after developing a solid niche, I decided to open up my training to the general public in 2019, by way of the IOFC Hands Team. I love what I do and I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a part of my athletes’ journeys."
What is the biggest advice you like to tell receivers?
"Master proper hand placement and be 100% on the 50/50 balls. That’s what separates elite receivers from good receivers. Also, make sure you can impact the game when the ball isn’t in your hands. Anyone can run down the field and catch a pass. But can you block? Can you run your route in a way that opens up another teammate? Can you make a play on special teams? We’re not just receivers at the end of the day, we’re football players."