ART

Content creator works behind the scenes for Ole Miss Rebels

Alec Szabo

Evan King
Oxford Stories
emking@go.olemiss.edu

Alec Szabo, 24, grew up in Toledo, Ohio where he attended college and graduated with a biomedical engineering degree from the University of Toledo in 2019.

Now an Oxford resident, Szabo is employed as the assistant video coordinator for Ole Miss Football where he creates creative video content to produce hype about the Ole Miss Rebels.

Through his platform, RoyWhitka, he has taken Oxford and Rebel fans inside showing them their favorite Rebels behind the scenes.

Szabo does much more daily with the football team than just making videos. He helps support the coaches upon request, helping with technical and XOs digital (film database) problems that come up. He also instructs student video staff workers about what they should do daily and how each station needs to be filmed.

Between the support for coaches and instructing student workers, he finds time for videos. He envisions videos per position group or as an entirety to hype up the Rebel faithful for upcoming events. His next project is a hype video for spring ball to show the Rebel’s progress on the field this spring.

“Stay tuned for spring,” he said.

When Szabo was younger, his aspirations and joy came from video games.

“It soon changed to something beyond casual gaming with friends and having fun,” he said. “It turned into me recording and streaming before it was even a thing.”

He said this was a gateway into the world of creative content and he still enjoys it.

“All of the sudden, it became the thing where I was getting a lot of views, creating popular content, and creating success with that, but I had no idea what that meant,” he said. “When my grandmother gave me that MacBook going into high school, that really furthered my ability to continue content creating. These were the driving forces of my earlier years, and these are what swayed me into keeping creative content an option.”

His time at Toledo Central Catholic was especially rough on his journey because he began to fall out of love with gaming and editing. This was caused by school peer pressure. He was trying to conform.

“They would all make comments, such as, ‘That’s lame,’ or ‘Why are you going to embarrass yourself and put that up on YouTube,'” he said.

Adapting and growing up in this period between junior high and high school was challenging for Szabo.

“This time grew me up, and (I) realized who I was, and what I need to do, and looked at things more realistically,” he said.

Artistic Vinyl shot. Photo by Evan King

It was also at Toledo Central Catholic where Szabo had a defining moment. A counselor placed him in easy, standard courses because his grades were mediocre. But sophomore year, his geometry teacher told him he needed to move up to honors classes because he was wasting his talent. So he went to change the course schedule, and the counselor tried to move him out of 7th period art.

He did not want to leave this course and found another class to replace the math class so he could have art in 7th period. She refused. Szabo felt like he was being viewed as a joke. Even though she may not have meant it, Szabo thought she was saying he couldn’t do it and was not capable.

“It was there when it clicked,” Szabo said.

This made him push harder to prove he is greater than what they think.

The love of content creation was renewed when he graduated from Toledo Central Catholic and attended the University of Toledo. He chose engineering because he saw it as a good profession and he loved math and science.

After his freshman year at Toledo, he became involved with football and began creating content again.

“It was the previous video coordinator who taught at my high school that kind of swayed me into getting back into content creation,” she said.

At the end of high school, he had begun filming football games and creating pep rally videos that got his peers pumped before every game. He realized that content creation was his passion.

In college, he debated if he should pursue football or focus on engineering.

Shot of the University of Mississippi sign on University Ave. Photo by Evan King

University of Mississippi Video Coordinator Matthew Engelbert said it’s easy to see the hard work and dedication Szabo puts in daily.

“He has a strong work ethic, and each day, he is always there to help a coach, even when a video is due,” Engelbert said. “He is young and has promise. He just has to keep pushing himself like he does now in order to continue his growth.”

Szabo said he hopes to learn more.

“I want to take the video I do with football, and grow it into something even bigger than it is now,” he said.

He said his path will be based solely on consistent growth and not getting complacent. He has pondered the possibilities of working in a head creative content role for a company or moving closer to home, yet still improving his skills.

Szabo has made strides by getting out of his comfort zone. This is what separates him from the crowd, and how he can produce the content he does. By expanding his horizons and trying new techniques to build his platform, Szabo has risen to the forefront of highlights for the Rebels.

Szabo has done many things he has never expected to do. He pursued a biomedical engineering degree, and now works for an SEC football program. His message is that no matter what life may have lined up for you, keep waiting for that next opportunity to grow. Decisions on what to do the rest of your life are not easy, but just do what you love and that will be worth living for.

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