The road from Texas which led Givens Price to the College of Business Administration was neither direct nor typical. With two stints in Nigeria already under his belt, he was introduced to the game of football as a 12-year-old freshman at Alief Taylor High School in Houston. As one of the youngest signees ever for Nebraska, he was a freshman offensive lineman for the Huskers by the age of 16.
Once on campus, Price eventually landed at CBA as a double major in accounting and management. He owes much of his success on and off the field to the challenges he faced growing up in both Houston and Nigeria.
“It wasn’t always the easiest experience, but I learned a lot of life lessons in terms of maturing at a young age, discipline and hard work, and by struggling to earn what I received,” Price said. “Though I sometimes regretted going back to Nigeria, I’m also grateful.”
Price lived in Nigeria with his aunt and uncle on two separate occasions, and because the school years did not mesh with those in the U.S., he tested out of fourth grade and skipped half of seventh.
“I knew nothing about football, but I took P.E. and one of the coaches said I was too big for that. He told me to come to football practice,” said the 310-pound, 6-foot-4-inch Price. “I mainly watched my freshman year and then they put me on defense when I was a sophomore. My junior year they moved me to offense, so I had to start learning all over again.”
Attending a football camp prior to his senior year helped catch the attention of local scouts, and ultimately Nebraska. He received scholarship offers from many schools including Baylor, Rice and Missouri, but a recruiting visit to Lincoln left him impressed with the Husker fan base and the fact the team beat Missouri that weekend.
“I graduated with a 3.8 GPA and my goal was to get an academic scholarship. Though I’ve always been my mom’s baby, I didn’t realize that going to college at 15 wasn’t normal,” said Price who still calls his mother twice a day. “The Husker staff told me I was big and smart enough to handle being younger.”
Dennis Leblanc, senior associate athletic director of academics at UNL, sees Price as an inspiration to others on the field and in the classroom.
“Givens was extremely resilient, resourceful and mature for his age when he arrived on campus,” Leblanc said. “He knew the moment he got here he had a wonderful opportunity to get a great education to go along with his student-athlete experience. Although he’s known more for being a member of the football team, he is more proud of graduating in four years with a double major.”
Price has excelled in school every step of the way including being named to the academic all-Big Ten conference football team the last two years.
“Succeeding academically is important to me. Anything else is not an option for my family or me. We strive for the best,” he said.
Although he originally intended to go into pre-med, he quickly discovered he had a greater interest in business.
“A friend was working on her accounting homework. It looked interesting and that’s when I realized I love numbers,” Price said. “I knew I wanted to get into upper level management someday, so combining those two majors will allow me to use my accounting background to run my own business.”
Although athletically Price is a junior, he will graduate this May and plans to earn his MPA degree during his senior season of football next year.
“I decided to get the most of my scholarship,” Price said. “My plan now is to study for my GMAT and my CPA license.”