Sun Bowl players come and go, but few are as interesting as Stanford senior wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside.
“J.J. is a special young man,” said Stanford head coach David Shaw. “He’s an international relations major, he was born in Spain, and is a bright light of a human being.”
Being a Stanford student-athlete is no easy task, especially in Arcega-Whiteside’s case. While most of his peers were soaking up the California sun this summer, he spent summer break interning for former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
“That was a great opportunity for me. I learned a lot from her and her staff,” said Arcega-Whiteside. “I did a lot of things like sorting through her mail, pick up phone calls for her, schedule things for her, just be that first line of defense for her if someone wants to reach her.”
“Condoleezza is an unbelieveable human being. She’s brilliant and she is very choosy as you can imagine,” said Shaw.
Arcega-Whiteside has totaled nearly 1,000 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns this season. He knows politics and he definitely knows football. It is something he believes he had an instant connection to with Rice.
“She could have been a head football coach and she could have been president. There’s not many people that can say that,” said Arcega-Whiteside. “I think the biggest thing I learned is that everyone starts somewhere and you can’t waste time when you are in that position.”
Arcega-Whiteside has one game remaining in his college career and it will come Monday in the 85th Hyundai Sun Bowl against Pitt. Kickoff is at noon at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso.