CINCINNATI — Football represents so much to Kalos Farrier.
The 2019 Gamble Montessori High School graduate is starting this year intent on making a significant impression as a preferred walk-on at Ohio University after playing this past season at Hocking College.
Football has been a constant for the 6-foot-2, 315-pound tight end during an often difficult life journey.
"This is all I know," said Farrier. "This is all I grew up on. This is the only way that's going to get me out. That's why I try so hard in school to get the grades. I feel like football - that's just everything to me right now and it's all I got."
Farrier, 21, has played football since he was 5 years old.
There was a game the day the 6-year-old Farrier learned his mother, Erica, had been killed.
"I was too young to be able to react, like I wasn't able to understand," Farrier said. "That's all I can really remember. I don't have too many memories of her."
Farrier grew up without a father.
Thomas and Marie Farrier - his grandparents - along with the support of other family members and friends helped Kalos in the subsequent years.
"We are extremely proud of him," Marie Farrier said. "He has overcame so many obstacles and just to be in a position at the place he's in - we're just ecstatic."
Kalos said his grandmother is always there for him.
"She's everything," Farrier said. "That's the woman of my life. It's that simple. That's why I can't wait to make it because she's definitely like the first person I am doing anything for."
Making it on scholarship and earning a bachelor's degree at Ohio University is the first goal. Making it to the NFL is the ultimate destination.
"I feel like I definitely got a lot of eyes on me," Farrier said. "I just want to succeed. I just want to make people happy - that's all."
Those who know Farrier are happy to see him earn another college football opportunity.
Tim Kreimer coached Farrier on a Catholic grade-school team and his family has kept in contact over the years. Kreimer knew how much potential Farrier had with football and beyond.
"He was always a very nice kid," Kreimer said. "One of the best players on the team. He was a very gifted player. It was fun coaching him."
Farrier played a variety of positions in high school including on the offensive and defensive lines and in the backfield for Gamble Montessori, a Division VI program with one of the smallest school enrollments among Greater Cincinnati football teams in the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
Farrier rushed for 1,172 yards and eight touchdowns his senior season with the Gators.
"From where Kalos started to where he's at it's an incredible story," Gamble Montessori football coach Robert Rachel said. "He worked his tail off to get to where he's at."
Farrier is the first NCAA Division I athlete in Gamble Montessori's history, according to Gamble Montessori athletic director Dave Miller.
"He's a good kid," Miller said. "I know people say that all the time. He always has a smile on his face. We're super happy about (his success)."
Farrier persevered to improve his grades in high school after conversations with Rachel. Farrier committed to the classroom, the weight room and connecting with others.
Farrier earned an associate's degree with a 3.0 grade-point average at Hocking College. He is pursuing an interest in sport management at Ohio University.
"I've thought about coaching, real estate and right now I'm learning how to invest," Farrier said.
Farrier is determined to have the Bobcats invest in him as a football player.
Farrier's highlight film impressed the Ohio University coaching staff and allowed him to earn a roster spot with an opportunity to later go on scholarship.
"I've always wanted to be a difference-maker," Farrier said. "I always want to make our school (Gamble Montessori) known and make my name known."
Rachel has no doubts that Farrier will succeed and can't wait to make the trip to Athens to watch Farrier compete on the field. He keeps in touch with Farrier each week by phone.
"Kalos is my special one because again where he started from and what he had to deal with as a kid - all the trials and tribulations that he's been through - and he stayed the same," Rachel said.
"I just think once he gets to Ohio U., he's going to adapt. He's going to build relationships and he's going to be a great young man."