It doesn't take much for Albert Evans Jr. to push himself for that extra rep on the football field or in the weight room.
The former Portage and Purdue gridiron standout doesn't give up easily. To him, it is nothing to push himself to the limit or beyond.
The Gary native not only continues to work out daily, but has also begun teaching personal training.
"I love helping people who want to get in better shape and help themselves," Evans said. "I am very fortunate that I have that opportunity to do this, coach and still pursue my dream."
That dream continues to be playing professional football. Evans had a tryout with the Miami Dolphins in 2012, and in the meantime has been an assistant coach at Homewood-Flossmoor High School under his former coach at Portage, Craig Buzea.
"Ever since I was a young kid, just like everybody else, my dream was to play in the NFL," the 24-year-old Evans said. "I am still young enough to pursue it and I just want a chance to show I can play whether it is the NFL, indoors or Canada.
"I am in good shape and I can take off in a minute for a tryout. Not everyone even has that opportunity, so you have to make the best of it."
Evans' dream began on the now-shuttered Aetna Elementary School's front lawn on Arizona Street and the playing fields behind the school. It continued when he went to Kennedy-King Middle School, then to Portage and Purdue.
He is proud of his degree in health and human sciences and has had something to fall back on.
"I would say my goal was to play Division-I football, then in college it was to graduate from Purdue and get my degree," Evans said. "I graduated with honors and that was important to me. With my parents (Albert Sr. and Loukecia), it was always school work first. My two sisters and me all graduated from college."
Evans has also worked with kids who have had troubled pasts and live in a group home.
"I saw they were not bad kids, but just had no guidance from adults," Evans said. "It made me feel very lucky and not take for granted what I have. I am very lucky that I have two parents who worked hard to give us everything."
He loves working with Buzea and is glad his former coach brought him aboard the H-F staff.
"I feel I can make a difference, help a young kid out because I am not that much older," Evans said. "I have gained a lot of valuable experience from Buzz and from coaching.
"The players know I played college ball and I will do what I can to show a kid what he needs to do."