Hi, I am Shawn Izadi and I am ecstatic to answer your questions! I didn't expect this to explode like it did but here is the link to the original post: http://us.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/1utm8n/people_told_me_i_couldnt_do_both_football_and/

Some background on myself: I am in my final semester at UT and will be finishing up my major in biochemistry this May. In august, I hope to be attending medical school with aspirations of becoming a surgeon. My love for football and band started in middle school but quickly grew through high school. After my sophomore year of high school, I gave up football to be the drum major of the band for the following two years. After I made it to UT, made the band, and 3 walk on tryouts later, I was able to follow my dream of being in both organizations and it has truly been an amazing experience!

Twitter Proof!

Comments: 2613 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

taylorfausak2188 karma

How much did my instruction as your section leader help you be the man you are today? :p

shizadi1795 karma

TAYLOR! My main man! Without your instruction, I would be absolutely nothing. All my thanks goes to you.

bradcliffe1487 karma

What about the other section leader?!

shizadi1519 karma

Oh Ben. You are a close second!

TooMuchFire1554 karma

Is it difficult to stuff yourself in your own locker?

shizadi1295 karma

We can actually sit in our lockers, so no?

simplybokonist1108 karma

If someone gave you Reddit gold, would it be an NCAA violation?

shizadi1389 karma

As of our bowl game, I am considered graduated from the football program so I wouldn't think so! But I would rather you give it to a more worthwhile cause!

ooll624 karma


shizadi1462 karma

On the road, I traveled with the band and the band ALWAYS knows how to party. 350+ people with no curfew says it all.

Mr_Presibro584 karma

350 people in the band?! That's mad. Is that standard?

shizadi813 karma

Yup! There is an audition at the beginning of every year to pick who the members are without regard to seniority.

Andrewb2495536 karma

How difficult is it handling all of your classes as well as your extracurricular activities?

shizadi1083 karma

Great question! At the beginning, it was EXTREMELY difficult. I really had no idea what kind of beast I was dealing with. Football, alone, is easily a full time job when you take into account workouts, meetings, practice and game day. That, along with school and band became a full 17 hr+ workday. But I quickly came to understand that time efficiency had to be key to succeed. I started studying while eating and walking to class and forcing myself to complete some important task during even the shortest breaks.

As difficult as it was, I don't think I have learned as much about time efficiency as I have during this time of my life!

Diemac487 karma

Is it true that your girlfriend doesn't like your beard? What Texan woman doesn't like a face rug?

shizadi728 karma

Right?! It is true, but Reddit's's love towards my beard is slowly changing her mind. Keep it up guys!

AndleAnteater476 karma

What would you tell high school or junior high kids that are interested in a musical instrument, but don't want to be in the band because it "isn't cool"?

shizadi1504 karma

Cool in middle or high school is COMPLETELY different than cool in college. I remember telling someone, for the first time, that I was in the longhorn marching band and they thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. The band may be the 2nd coolest thing on campus to the football team.

Cool shouldn't define what you want to do. If you have a passion for it and you love it, then that is all the convincing you need. Hard work trumps everything! Best of luck!

whatyouknowmane422 karma


shizadi600 karma

Yes I am! 100%.

throwawaysteroids303 karma

Is steroid use common in D1 football?

shizadi805 karma

Absolutely not. We get drug tested so frequently and so extensively that I am afraid to take a multivitamin in fear that I may test positive.

TubaMike284 karma

  1. What ensembles do you play in at UT?

  2. What do your football teammates think about you playing in the band?

  3. What do you think about the new HC hire?

shizadi395 karma

1) I have performed in the basketball band, colorguard ensemble, percussion ensemble along with a couple of the LHB ensembles.

2) At first they thought it was crazy. But they absolutely love it. It gives them something to tease me about!

3) I am not going to judge him for what he hasn't done yet but I personally cant wait for next season to start!

_boj210 karma

how is life as a University of Texas student? I am beginning to look at colleges and could really use your input. What is it like to be a non-scholarship Division 1 player?

shizadi317 karma

I think it is one of the greatest institutions in the nation! If you love meeting new people, having a great faculty, being encountered with numerous opportunities to succeed, and being on a beautiful campus then this place is for you!

As for as being a non-scholarship D1 athlete, the work is tough. More is expected from you than the scholarship guys and the road is definitely tougher. But in the end, you gather a culmination of experiences, memories, and friends that will last a lifetime! Don't shy away from the opportunity or challenge!

shizadi206 karma

Keep the questions coming guys! I am going to grab some dinner but I will be right back! Thank you all so much!

RickySauce190 karma

Does Vince Young ever stop by? The 2006 national champion game was one of my favorite sports games of all time.

shizadi286 karma

He makes an occasional visit in the weight room! Cedric Benson and Sergio Kindle are usually the ones constantly working out though.

Tigbuna136 karma

Hey man! Middle school band director here. Would you be interested in setting up a Skype or Google chat where you could talk to my band students about your musical/collegiate career? They would love it!

shizadi190 karma

I am guessing you just tweeted at my too. I would love to! PM me and we can set something up.

Marcurial128 karma

Why did this get removed?

shizadi151 karma

I am wondering the same thing...

spoonfedsam118 karma

I heard you're a brother of the KKPsi chapter over there...is that true? I only ask because I'm a TBS sister, heh.

Edit: Just wanna give a heads-up to all the brothers and sisters that will see this... go sub to your respective subs!



shizadi157 karma

I am! AEA!

konke109 karma

Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?

shizadi259 karma

1 horse-sized duck.

Count3D99 karma

Why did you decide to play Saxophone?

shizadi301 karma

It is funny because I actually started as a flute player. I think I just needed a little more masculinity in my life so I made the change! And you can't deny that the sax is sexy!

terminalsanctuary97 karma

Wow you are....godly......I still can't believe it. O.o

1) how do you balance premed + band + Football!?!?!?

2) How many interviews at med school do u have and/or acceptances??

3) Did anyone godly write your Letter of Recs?

4) (if you will please) what was your MCAT score and how did you study for that with all these commitments??

Congrats and rooting for you man! You are awesome

EDIT: I hope Hahhhhvahhhddd Med School better accept you! If I saw this as an adcom I'd be floored in awe lol

shizadi192 karma

You are giving me too much credit! Thank you!

1) The balance is, by far, the most difficult part! Time management is key and without being madly efficient on a day to day basis, none of this would be possible.

2) Atm, I'm making the decisions between Ohio State and Creighton Med.

3) Mack Brown. 'Nuff said.

4) I would rather keep that private, but that is just due to principle. Great series of questions though! Thanks!

Onetorulethemalll71 karma

If for some reason you were forced to pick which activity you wanted to do, which would you pick (between band and football and you can only pick one)?

shizadi168 karma

What got me into this position was the fact that I honestly could not choose. But, going with your question, I would have to say band. They were my first family at UT and have really given me so much. I cant even begin to express how much they mean to me so I would have to choose them. I still love y'all football!

z_lubes60 karma

Did you take any shit from any of your football teammates?

shizadi134 karma

For the most part, no! The scholarship guys have a TON of respect for the walk-ons because they know the stuff we have to go through on a daily basis. In the end, we are all a family working towards the same goal! Love them with all my heart!

luc_c1149 karma

Big ravens fan here. Ever thought of doing music with Justin Tucker? Apparently University of Texas Football is also cracking out the musicians

shizadi96 karma

That was actually my first choice when coming to UT! But after sitting down and thinking about my future (medical school), I soon came to realize that a degree in biochemistry would help me be the better doctor in the long run! We actually have a linemen, Garret Porter, who is a stud music major.

llano1143 karma

Are you glad you didn't have to face Johnny Manziel?

shizadi134 karma

Personally, I want the rivalry to come back! No matter who the players are, it is too great a game and rivalry to be seen let go like this.

JakeSmithsPhone39 karma

Could you please provide some commentary about this article based upon what you observed? You don't need to spill the beans about any specific players/programs, but it would be nice to hear your perspective.

shizadi90 karma

Wow, what a question! I read the article and find it quite interesting. To be honest, it is crazy to hear how poorly some players do in the classroom but when placed in a football meeting room they seem like an freaking genius! I think it all comes down to what a person really puts their efforts toward. I will say that our players have higher than a 5th grade reading level in my opinion. I hope that answers your question!

thelovepirate33 karma

What's up fellow UT Austin brother!?

What's your favorite place to eat at in ATX?

shizadi119 karma

When I can endure the mad line, Franklin's BBQ makes all my problems go away.

Btaelman29 karma

What was football recruitment like for you? Right now I am a junior in high school that has a very good possibility of playing D1 and I don't know exactly what to do or if I should even play.

shizadi60 karma

Well I first want to say congratulations for being in that position to play D1 sports! It is a huge commitment but one that will pay massive dividends!

As for me, I wasn't recruited. I had to go through the walk-on process. So I am sorry I cant help you in that aspect. But whatever you do, never lose the drive you have for the game and always be the hardest worker. No one can take that away from you. Keep it up!

shizadi29 karma

Back from dinner! Lets get back to answering!

Aznb01p29 karma

Since your family are OU grads, how heated does the Red River Rivalry get in your household?

shizadi57 karma

Heated would be an understatement. That game really defined the household for the rest of the college football year. Luckily, they have been forced to root for Texas in light of the team I play for. Thanks for the question!

LilRomenHuhn27 karma

I watched the Clip on you on the Longhorns Network, just wanted to say as a long time college football fan your story is inspiring, and I for one will use your story as inspiration for myself as I pursue a career in sports

shizadi29 karma

Thank you so much! That means a lot!

xcizzy26 karma

I heard you are going to apply to medical school next year. What area do you want to focus on?

P.s. Your beard is awesome, don't shave it! Unless you can grow it back pretty quick like I can.

shizadi47 karma

Great question! Surgery has always fascinated me and the more surgeons I shadow, the more I fall in love with it! Cardiothoracic surgery is definitely something I would love to pursue.

If I shave my beard, it can be back within a week so don't worry!

hansjens4723 karma

Who're your greatest idols?

shizadi74 karma

My Dad and Muhammad Ali.

bloatedjam20 karma

Do you think Strong is gonna be a good coach?

shizadi25 karma

I definitely think he has the pieces to make things work!

fred889112 karma

Why Texas over OU? Does your family feel betrayed? Congratulations on all of your success.

shizadi28 karma

Thank you so much! I have just fallen in love with Texas since being a little kid. And as we grow up, there is a little bit of defiance in all of us, so I am sure that fueled it as well. In the end, I think I made the right decision for me! I still have the utmost respect for OU though!

rare_comments12 karma

Objectively speaking, which college bands are better than Texas'?

shizadi27 karma

Texas is near the top of the charts but aside from us I have heard great things about Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State!

THEronaldreagan10 karma

Coltrane or Charlie bird Parker?

shizadi20 karma

Oh man this is tough! I am going to roll with John Coltrane but both are amazing!

idkwhattoputasmyname8 karma

What is your major? Is it band related? I've noticed a lot of people in college band programs are there because it's a requirement for their major. Is alto your main instrument? What else do you play?

Sorry for multiple questions, I'm a saxophone player hopefully going off for a music ed degree this fall :P

shizadi20 karma

My major is biochemistry, so not band related at all! And I actually started on the bari sax, and eventually moved to alto. It was just too cumbersome to march bari! Best of luck to you in the fall saxophone brother!

saltymuffaca7 karma

What's the biggest difference between your football teammates and your fellow band members?

shizadi14 karma

One group feels like they have been hit my an 18 wheeler at the end of their practice.

But seriously, being in the band allows for a much relaxed lifestyle. No curfews, wake up calls, and meetings to be at. Whereas football gives you a time and place to be at for almost every moment of the day. Great question!

IamRule343 karma

What's your favorite memory so far this year?

shizadi8 karma

There are so many, but marching halftime in my pads has to trump them all! Just so many emotions and memories will be carried with that moment. Great question!

ragingummybear2 karma

Cool you actually did it. I saw your twitter :)

My question is: As a High School band member about to go to college (next year), what is it like in college? Is it any different from high school or a lot more competitive?

shizadi4 karma

Thank you so much! And actually band in college is far LESS competitive. There are no competitions and no UIL to worry about. But in place of that is the opportunity to perform in front of 100,000+ people on a weekly basis with a new show every couple of weeks. It is way more relaxed than high school and I would highly recommend it! Keep up the good work!

dbcooperman2 karma

where's the best tacos at?

shizadi12 karma

Torchy's. Easy! I may be biased because I live right across from it.

boxbatter2 karma

As a fellow Texan and lover of Austin, what is your favorite food spot in the heart of Texas?

shizadi3 karma

If you can survive the ridiculous line starting at 8 in the morning, Franklin's BBQ is the way to go!

NewtoNerdy2 karma

Do you like Ska music Sax Man? Its pretty fun to play.

shizadi4 karma

I actually just learned that the other day! I am little late to the party but better now than never.

blade242 karma

Do you think being Persian helped or hurt your football career? Or it didn't make any difference?

shizadi8 karma

When does being Persian ever hurt you? (besides the excessive body hair). I think it definitely set me apart and a persian household definitely teaches you to always work hard and never give up!

willdcatt2 karma

What advice would you give to musicians that want to be more involved in athletics?

shizadi5 karma

I think a great place to start is a marching band! Aside from that, volleyball band and basketball band are great ways as well. It doesn't hurt to get into contact with someone in athletics to see what musicians can do for them! It can grow to be a great mutual relationship between the two groups! I hope you can get more involved! Best of luck!

Shokist372 karma

Which did you like more, football or band?

shizadi5 karma

The reason I didn't stop doing one is because both are awesome!

joshana121 karma

I might be moving to Austin, Texas soon. What is your favorite place to eat there?

shizadi3 karma

I've said it once and I'll say it again because it deserves to be heard! Franklin's BBQ is the way to go! Welcome to the ATX!

friedjumboshrimp1 karma

What's your opinion about Charlie Strong, what about Red McCombs comments about Strong?

shizadi3 karma

I am not going to judge him for what he hasn't done yet. As far as I am concerned, I am already excited for next year's football season! Hook 'Em!

tahuna1 karma

I assume you played in the band in high school too. How does the time commitment to a university band compare to high school band?

shizadi2 karma

I actually would have to say the time commitment in high school was much greater than in college. I could be swayed because I was the head drum major in high school but there were also major competitions at the high school level that are absent at the collegiate level. This isn't to say that we don't work hard in college. It is just a little more relaxed and it helps that everyone has 4 years of marching band under their belts!

rntnicky330 karma

Do you agree that burnt orange is the ugliest color of all time?

shizadi5 karma

I would have to disagree! Alien green may be the ugliest color of all time.