What has Yale football done for me? I don’t know where to begin. I am an immigrant from Nigeria who came to the United States  with my mother, brother and sister. I have lived on the lower end of society for most of my life, and I have had to fight and put myself in situations that would benefit me.

My mother worked hard to get me into school. My brother and sister worked hard to set a good example for me. They suffered so that I may learn and better myself. Football was always an outlet for me where everything just seemed decent. I had little to no worries on the field because it was more peaceful than my home life. I had great teammates who were like family to me.

Yale football gave me an opportunity to have one of the world’s best educations and also play competitive football. If it weren’t for Yale football tracking me down, I can’t say I would be where I am. However, I have never once thought that I didn’t deserve to be here .

Yale football has been very special to me. Before I came here, I struggled with my love for football. Yes, it was an outlet for me, but I can’t say I enjoyed most of my high school football career. I came to Yale expecting the same thing.

Heading into college, I had a very strong football family, but everyone I came in contact with who played college football said it wasn’t the same. I felt that in the few colleges I visited. But Yale was different. I came in and found guys that I can say will be my best friends for the rest of my life. I have a strong connection with my teammates, especially now as I stand among them as a senior.

I also found my passion for football again once I got to college. My freshman year was the time when I stopped viewing football as a job and instead as a fun sport. I believe it was when I got my first sack during the 2013 Cornell game that my view of football began to change. Ever since then, I have happily given my all to football whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally, because I care so much not only for the game but also for my brothers who I share the field with.

My senior season has been a roller coaster of emotion. It isn’t what I pictured it to be. There have been many good times but also many bad times, and though it’s been a struggle to stay positive all the time, it has helped me and my teammates mature as men.

The football team struggled this year, as many have seen. What wasn’t seen is how much we worked. We pushed ourselves to our limits just so we could have the opportunity to play our best most Saturdays and a couple Fridays.

Playing football at Yale has been an emotional and physical struggle, but I regret nothing. Would I have liked a better record to indicate our hard work? Of course! However, this is our reality, and our reality has prepared us for life because there will be challenges down the road.

As a senior, I want our class to finish our time on a positive note. I want us to leave a legacy we are proud of. I want us to teach our underclassmen how to work and appreciate each other. As I step away from Yale football, I know I will leave it in capable hands — hands that will do far better with the Yale football mantra than I ever did.

Yale football holds a special place in my heart, and I am thankful for everyday I have experienced it. As the saying in my room reads, “THANK GOD ALMIGHTY I’M A BULLDOG AND DON’T FORGET GOD IS ALWAYS A BULLDOG!!!”

Victor Egu is a senior in Jonathan Edwards College and a linebacker on the Yale football team. Contact him at victor.egu@yale.edu .