Oct. 1, 2012
This article was originally published in the Sept. 22 edition of Kickoff, the official gameday magazine of Wake Forest football.
Q: What are your earliest memories of playing football?
A: My first memories are Pop Warner football in middle school, maybe even in elementary school and I was really young. I guess my first real memory is when we went to the state playoffs for Pop Warner football when I was in the eighth grade and so that was one of my first times when I really knew I loved football.
Q: When did you first realize you could play at the major college level?
A: I guess it was closing in on towards my junior year of high school. I hadn't really filled out my body until about that time. And then I started making more and more plays in the game and feeling more comfortable and getting interest from different teams. I guess the beginning of my junior year was when I realized I was going to have a chance.
Q: Were you always one of the better players on the field growing up?
A: I always grew up with a lot of good football players. I come from a pretty good high school tradition. We had a lot of good players on our team who went on to play college football. I was one of the good players on the field, but I'm not sure I was the best. We had a lot of good players so it is hard to say.
Q: What area of your game have you had to work the hardest to improve upon?
A: My size. I've always been a little bit undersized. I've always been blessed with good speed so I always knew I was going to be fast but size was not something I was given. I have to work pretty hard to keep my weight and then again I'm not the tallest guy either so I have to fight. But I use that as an advantage; your height can be an advantage if you use it right. So I guess that's how I deal with it.
Q: Is there an area of your game that just comes natural to you?
Q: What is the best memory of your high school career?
A: My speed and my knowledge of the game. I understand the game pretty well, so that came easy for me. That helps you in every aspect of the game, be fast, play fast. Both of those things are probably the easiest for me.
A: Winning the state championship my sophomore year and then going to two state championships my junior and senior year. Those are some of my better memories. We didn't end up winning my junior year and senior year, which was tough, but those are still great memories.
Q: Has there been a coach or mentor who has had a great impact on your career?
A: Both my high school coaches, one was the d-line coach and one was the defensive coordinator. Both are really influential in my life as a player and as a person. They have helped me so much, and they have kept in contact with me since I was at college and helped me with anything that I needed, so both of those two guys were really helpful to me.
Q: What were you looking for in a college during the recruiting process?
A: I wanted a family atmosphere, a place where I felt comfortable. I stepped into a situation where my brother (Hunter) played here so it really felt like a family atmosphere and was comfortable for me. I really had it easy when I was going through the recruiting process because I wanted a place where I felt comfortable and, obviously with a family member on the team, it immediately drew me to the school.
Q: What do you plan to do after your football career is over?
A: I don't know. I want to work in some kind of business field, if football doesn't work out, so I'll play it by ear when I get there.