How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?
10 to 15
Where did you choose and why?
Middle Tennessee State University, I felt very comfortable with the coaching staff and I knew I had a chance to start for 4 years so it was the place I felt like I belonged.
What were your goals for your senior year?
I wanted to continue to play hard for my team and to also stay healthy and continue my streak of games played. My senior year didn’t go quite as well as everyone wanted but it was my pride that kept me playing hard until the very last play of the season despite the fact we went 2-10.
Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?
I have met some scouts and have spoke with them shortly but haven’t received much insight on were I stood, some of them seemed to show interest but you never quite know as a player.
At your position, what separates you from the others?
A couple things, I use the technique taught to me by my coaches very well. Even though Ive always been undersized I have learned that technique and leverage can beat brute strength any day and those are the two things I used in college to have a successful career. Another thing is that as a football player and competitor I HATE to lose or be out done it’s just something I have inside of me that makes me want to win and compete so every time I line up against another man I feel like I’m better no matter who they are.
Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?
If I’m watching an opponent I look for his tendencies and weaknesses. What does this guy rely on in certain situations? What are his go to moves and also his strengths/weaknesses? Watching film is one of the most important aspects of football to me it’s the best way to see how to get better and prepare for your opponents. The eye in the sky never lies!
Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?
The toughest guy I ever went against was my first year playing offensive line in high school and it was the third or fourth game of the season and he was the number 1 rated DT in the country that year he was better then me overall and gave me a very hard time but that experience gave me the motivation to never want anyone to do me like that again and it never did happen again.
If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?
I wouldn’t know of anyone specific but I would compare my play to anyone at any position who is considered an underdog. I play with a chip on my shoulder because I’ve always been doubted or underestimated and it motivates me to be the best I can.
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
That’s a tough one but it would have to be the failed relationship between my father and I. He was always in and out of my life and he caused me a lot of pain. As I grew up I hoped we would mend our relationship but it never happened so even though we didn’t fix it I believe that it taught me many lessons about life and motivated me to be a great father to my new born son and provide the love and things I didn’t receive from my father. So even though it wasn’t fixed I believe I overcame that obstacle by trying to break a generational curse that’s been in my family for a long time of fathers not being in their sons lives.
What system fits your style of play the best?
I am a quick athletic lineman so I believe any system that involves quick, fast paced plays like a spread or zone scheme.
What is your biggest strength?
I believe my overall football IQ is very high not only did I never have any trouble learning plays and schemes I also could use my knowledge and experience to know what a guy was usually going to do on any given play before it happens so that gave me an advantage because I could usually bait them into doing exactly what I wanted or expected.
What is your biggest weakness?
I have never been the strongest or biggest guy especially for my position but I have worked very hard to get where I am now and will continue to work to improve my weaknesses everyday because you can never stop getting better.
If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?
It would be a dream to make it in the NFL any GM that were to take a chance on me would not regret it but if not I will not be giving up anytime soon because I know I can be an asset to a team one day whenever someone finally does give me a chance and until that day I’m going to keep working my tail off to make that happen I refuse to give up.
Growing up, who was your role model?
I would say that I may not be a guy that looks like a monster but as one of my old coaches use to say I’m a “player” when I put the pads on I have never met an opponent that I believed was better than me and not in a cocky way but as a competitor I like myself over anyone I go against. I didn’t really have a role model I just always loved football and it molded me into the man I am today.
Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?
I’ve never had favorite teams in sports I just like exciting games but my favorite player would have to be Randy Moss he was so exciting and electrifying and I just really enjoyed watching him play growing up I loved watching him do some of the amazing things that he did.
What was the most tragic event that ever happened in your life and how did you overcome it?
When my grandmother died while I was in high school. I lived with her at the time and loved her more than anyone else in the world and she felt the same way about me. She smoked cigarettes and it got the best of her eventually, it hurt a lot when it happened and it still saddens me to this day but at the same time if it wasn’t for her I probably would even have kept playing football she was my foundation and support so everyday I just think about how I know she’s looking down on me proud of what I’ve done so far and what I plan to do in the future also.
If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?
Just two, Jesus, and my Grandmother
With your first paycheck what would you buy?
I would have to buy a car but to be honest I would be saving for a house that would be my one and only goal to save enough to buy a house for my son to grow up in a stable situation, I had to move more times as a kid then you could count on 10 hands and I don’t want that for my son so I would love to be able to provide him with everything I was never fortunate enough to have.
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