The coaches say you're very fast, and I hear you once ran the 40-yard dash in 4.29 seconds. So when was the last time you lost a footrace?
Probably in fourth grade. But he was taller than I was. I take little steps. I was like 4 feet tall. In the end, he caught me because he was taller. He was a teammate of mine in track.
I understand you went to high school with (Rockets All-Star guard) James Harden. Did you know each other well?
Yes. We came out in the same year. And we both went to Arizona State together, too.
Would he have made a good football player?
Well, some basketball players did come out to football practice one day, and a few of them messed around with us a little. He would have been a good receiver, of course. You could just throw the ball up to him. In fact, we thought about that, but Coach Perry wouldn't let him. He was the basketball coach. He was like, "Nope!"
So what would you look like with a James Harden beard?
I think I would look like a beast. I would scare receivers away with that beard.
Do you still keep up with Harden's career?
Yes. Whenever he's on TV playing, I always watch him and cheer him on.
Last basketball question: You're from Los Angeles. Are you a Lakers fan?
Well, I root for the home team. (Harden) and I grew up in the same neighborhood, so we've been basically knowing each other for a long while. We're both from Compton. So I got to root for him.
These are our weekly questions: First, what's getting the most play on your iPod right now?
(Rapper) Kendrick Lamar. He's actually from the same area as me and (Harden). In fact, he and James know each other personally.
What's your favorite game day song?
50 Cent, Straight to the Bank. When I hear that song, I get besides myself.
I think you should play whatever you played last Sunday. (He had the game-clinching interception.)
Yeah, last week I was listening to 2Pac on Pandora.
Moving on, what website do you visit most?
I would say Facebook and Twitter. But my Twitter is turned down right now. It's kind of quiet. I don't have anything to tweet. I know people tweet just about anything, but I want to make mine count.
And what reality show do you regularly watch?
I'd say, Jersey Shore. I watch that often. Also, Bad Girls Club.
Who is the most over-the-top character on Jersey Shore?
Well, they're all clowns. Probably Snooki. She's always doing something wretched.
You've only been in Tampa for a few weeks. Does everybody here even know your name yet?
I don't know. I think so. Maybe. But you know what the problem is? Everybody here has similar names. You got Tiquan, LeQuan, Da'Quan, Q (Quincy Black), (Myron) Lewis. People say someone's name, and I answer. I answer to 'Quan, Lewis, Q, whatever. One of our coaches one day was calling out, "Hey, Quan!" So I said, "What?" He said it again, and I said, "What!?" Turned out he was talking to Tiquan. I said, "Man, ya'll have to come up with some initials around here or something." That's three Quans, two Lewises, two Q's. That's too much.
What's going on with Los Angeles? You guys haven't had an NFL team for so long. What's with that?
Well, we have USC. And that's basically just like the NFL. And do you know how bad the traffic is? That would just make it worse. But USC is big time. You see their players on the sides of buses, on billboards. They're like the kings of L.A.
Who are your biggest fans?
I would have to go back to who was there from the beginning. That's the Roman family. They were basically my family. I grew up with them. Steven, Ryan, Carol and the parents. Back in (youth football), when I was 7 years old, Steven's uncle coached us. So the whole Roman family watched me play from then all the way through high school.
So what did I miss? Anything?
Actually, I can ski. No one knows that. I'm a black guy from L.A. who can ski. So I had a roommate in college, Dean Deleone. He's from Park City, Utah. His parents told me I should come up for the winter. I said, "I'll see." I had never seen snow. We get there, and they say, "So, you guys want to go ski?" I said, "Huh?" So at first, I went down the bunny slope. Like a speed demon, I just went straight down as fast as I could. Dean was yelling at me, "You can't do that! You have to learn how to stop!" So I finally learned how to jump and turn to stop. I had a hard time at first. But I figured it out, and eventually, I went to the big slopes. And, man, I looked like I'd been skiing all my life! So now I know how to ski.
Stephen F. Holder can be reached at [email protected]