Michael Ambrose Jr., 23, is hoping for bigger things ahead in his career and becoming a pro football player tops the list.
Now Ambrose Jr. is waiting for a phone call from either team to tell him whether he got the job as a defensive end. But his first choice would be to play with the NFL and judging by the response he got at the Combine he believes he has a chance.
“They liked how I played with heart, my attitude and my ability to go with the flow,” Ambrose Jr. said.
A graduate of Horlick High School in 2010, Ambrose Jr. and his sister Jasmine Mosley were mostly raised by his grandmother Deborah Ambrose over on St. Patrick St.
Playing football for North Park University, Ambrose had to quit in 2012 because the cost of paying for college got too expensive even while working two jobs. He also moved back to Racine to help take care of his sick grandmother Deborah Ambrose. While his dream of playing pro football got sidetracked, he might just be able to make it happen.
But playing football isn’t just a game for Ambrose Jr. because it represents how he feels about his life. He believes people need to have goals, and If you work hard, you’ll be successful. But sometimes things don’t always go your way and that’s life.
“At the tryout I’m looking around the locker room and thinking, ‘These guys are trying to do the same thing I am,’” Ambrose Jr. said. “Win or lose, you’ve got to be in the right place. You’ve got to prepare to failures and successes.”
“Our d-line has so many good players that they alternate a lot and they’re all unselfish so none of them are going to put up big stats,” said Don Wadewitz, the play-by-play announcer for the Racine Raiders. “He’s disruptive when he is in the game.”
But Ambrose Jr. also believes Racine is a big part of his success and he wants to help the community by also being a good role model.
Kenny English, who has been a childhood friend of Ambrose Jr.’s since the sixth grade, said football has always given Ambrose Jr. structure and he’s always been about helping others.
“Football has helped him with his drive, and he tries to go as hard as he can with everything in his life because he’s has so much success with football,” English said. “He wants to be successful with everything he does and he wants others to succeed as well.”
At an NFL after party, Indianapolis Colts defensive end David Wilkens asked Ambrose Jr. where he was from and when Ambrose Jr. told him that he was from Racine, but he had to go into detail about where that was.
“It got me thinking, we’ve had a few good athletes from here, but I want to help put Racine on the map,” he said.