Nov. 14, 2011
This article was originally published in the Nov. 5 edition of Kickoff, the official gameday magazine of Wake Forest football.
Q: When did you start playing football?
A: I started playing football when I was six--tackle football. My dad got me into it. I started out playing flag football but then I started tackling guys and my dad thought I was good enough to go up and start playing tackle so I remember that vividly.
Q: What position did you play?
A: I played center.
Q: Were you always one of the better players growing up?
A: No, I always wasn't one of the better players. My dad was a big believer in hard work and good things happen. And I've always taken that wherever I've been at. I still look at it that way so every chance I get to run a lap or run a sprint I do it as hard as I can.
Q: When did you first realize you could play at the major college level?
A: I first realized it my sophomore year when my coach, Eric Lowe, started taking me and the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers to some college camps and combines. He was letting us know that scouts were looking at us and talking about us. We were all really excited about that, just being young guys able to play college football was our dream.
Q: Describe the recruiting process and how you ended up at Wake Forest?
A: The recruiting process was tough, but I looked at it as you're going to get a good education and good facilities anywhere you go and I basically wanted to be around good people. And I felt like when I came to Wake that's what it was with the coaches, the guys on the team, and my parents loved it up here. My mom is all about academics and she loved this school. She came and visited over the summer. I brought my dad on an official visit and he loved it too.
Q: What is the best memory of your high school career?
Q: What area of your game do you need to improve on?
A: [During my sophomore year] we were playing against Brandon Pendergrass' team (Royal Palm Beach), and I stripped the ball from their quarterback and started running with the ball and their little running back came and tackled me so that was great.
A: I need to work on my pass blocking. I tend to lunge forward sometimes, trying to attack too much, be too physical. So I need to just sit back sometimes and let the defensive lineman come to me.
Q: Is there an area of your game that just comes natural to you?
A: Not so much, I would say. Coach Lobo is a great coach and he is always perfecting our technique and I think just working with him over these past four years he's gotten me to be a good college lineman.
Q: What person has had the most influence on your football career?
A: I would say my high school football coach, Eric Lowe. Everything he just taught us about in high school. Just how he got on us to become the players that we were in high school was amazing. He wasn't just the type of guy who cared about us just as football players. He cared about us off the field. He made sure we were doing everything off the field with school and family.