Valley native and former Monarch, Winston Rose, is set to play for the Indianapolis Colts this season.
By Henry Guembes, Staff writer
After breaking his ankle in his senior year of high school, he was forced to sit out most of the season; however, Winston Rose—rose to the occasion and defied all odds, muscling his way into the NFL.
Rose, a cornerback by trade, is a Panorama City kid who nestled a football in his hand since elementary-school days. Coming from a school that doesn’t get much notoriety, posed a challenge for Rose; in his last year of football at St. Genevieve High School, he endured, what for some, may be considered a career-ending injury. After breaking his right ankle, Winston’s future looked bleak.
“My motivation came from my senior year of high school when I broke my ankle two weeks before our first game,” said Rose. “It was a humbling experience, and at the same time, it taught me a valuable lesson—to never give up. I ended up coming back for the last four games that year and that was the turning point in my life.”
Although Rose possessed great qualities in terms of speed and athleticism, boasting a rapid 40-yard-dash time of 4.38 seconds, his route to the league was anything but conventional. Standing at 6 feet and weighing 180 pounds, Winston knew he had the tools to ply his trade, but he would have to work twice as hard coming from a junior college.
Rose joined Valley in 2011, and continued playing football for the Monarchs until 2013. He amassed three interceptions, returning two for touchdowns; he made first-team all-conference in his last season.
“I’m grateful to all the staff who coached me at LAVC,” said the former Monarch.
After a stellar season in green and gold, Rose received offers from Portland State, Eastern Michigan, and New Mexico State—where he eventually played. After confirming his intent with NMSU, he was notified about interest from San Jose State and Washington State.
“At the time I was dealing with a situation in my family, my initial reaction when I got the offer (from NMSU) was relief.” said the 22 year old.
Winston describes his experience at NMSU as “different” due to a big scene change from his home state of California. Rose played three season with the Aggies; his last two season were his strongest, where he played 24 games. As a junior, Rose had seven starts and earned 46 tackles, which included 37 unassisted tackles and nine assisted tackles. During his senior year, Rose started 10 games, collecting 52 tackles, 39 unassisted and 13 assisted. Those numbers turned the heads of NFL scouts.
On April 30, the Los Angeles Rams signed Winston Rose; on May 12 he was released by the team, along with decorated veteran, Wes Welker. On May 18th, Rose was signed by the Indianapolis Colts, where he is set to wear number 35 this season.
“I’ve always been the underdog all of my life,” he said. “From not receiving a scholarship coming out of high school to taking the junior college route, I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder. Being ‘waived’ only makes me hungrier to go get what I deserve because I know in the end, all of this hard work will payoff. My faith remains strong through all adversity.”
Winston Rose went through many trials and tribulations before accomplishing his dream of playing in the NFL. With his grittiness, he leaves athletes at the junior college level with this a piece of advice.
“Just stay focused and don’t get sidetracked,” the NFL corner said. “Remember what got you to this point—your talent, your skills. You will learn new techniques but always remain you, as long as you stay humble, everything will fall place.”