MIAMI (CBSMiami) — While most high school kids were sleeping in and going to the beach this summer, Don Chaney Jr. was pulling into the gym at 6:00 a.m. His eyes barely open, but he is seeing the bigger picture.
“First thing this morning we see you pull up in the truck. It’s still dark out. What high school kid is getting up at 6am every day,” asks CBS4’s Mike Cugno.
“The ones who want to make it. The one who wants to be on top,” answers Chaney.
Chaney has been playing varsity football for Belen Jesuit since he was in 8th grade and is regarded as a top 10 running back in the nation.
CBS4 caught up with Chaney at the League of Excellence in Doral, where he is honing his craft and training to be quicker and more explosive than the next guy. Chaney has been bigger faster and stronger than most kids his entire life.
He is a three-time state champion high jumper who can fly running a 4-5 40.
“You hit a lot of homeruns. What’s your favorite touchdown? You like hitting homeruns or you like jumping over the pile?” asks Mike Cugno.
“I like hitting the home run. I like going for the long ones. Because in my head, I’m like ‘Wow. I’m out. I’m gone.”
If you can ever catch Chaney, his dad Don Senior is nearby giving him a little extra push.
“It’s definitely a helping hand knowing my dad is right there. It makes me work a little bit harder. Everybody works a little bit harder when their parents are around,” says Chaney.
Dad is also making sure his son rises to the competition. Even against his trainer Nick Soto.
“He’s never been able to hang in there weight wise or rep wise with me first of all yall. Last time he got 75 I got to 90.”
They go rep for rep and there is no letting up or taking it easy, but it is all out of love.
“He’s the one that’s mentally and physically preparing me. He’s like putting me on a scale where I have to get ready for everything.”
Chaney knows all this hard work will pay off in the long run. When he’s done scoring touchdowns for the Wolverines in the fall, he’ll be joining Manny Diaz and the Hurricanes as an early enrollee.
Once again, the early bird gets the worm.
“Get in early. Get all the plays done. Get that feeling of it early, instead of coming in before the season starts. A couple months before the season starts, then you’re not conditioned, then you’re not physically and mentally prepared for the season. So you won’t be ready. I just came to prove a point.”