How much do you know about all the great players that played at your high school over the years? (Miami Northwestern has produced more than 20 NFL players, including Melvin Bratton, Marvin Jones and former Bucs Nate Webster, Torrie Cox and Antonio Bryant.)
Most of my family are alumni of Miami Northwestern, so I used to go out there and watch those guys. I used to love watching Torrie Cox. I used to want to be like that guy. I remember when he was a running back, and at the time, I was playing running back at Gwen Cherry Optimist (a youth league in Liberty City).
Were you at the playoff game in the Orange Bowl in '98 when Northwestern had that great comeback (down 14-2 with three minutes left)?
Yep. That was the Soul Bowl II (a rematch against Miami Jackson). The winner was going to go to (the state final). Antonio Bryant made a one-handed catch on the last play of the game. I definitely remember that. That was a great experience. Everyone had given up. I actually had walked out of the stadium. But then we heard the crowd getting loud. We ran back in, and I was there to see the last play. We had thought the game was over.
Once you got to high school, what was your biggest memory?
Just being around all those players the year we went undefeated and won the state title. I was on the team with (University of Miami players) Jacory Harris, Sean Spence, Marcus Fortson.
You made a decision to go to Florida International and help that program grow. Do you take a lot of pride in that?
Everything I do, I take pride in it. That's definitely true with FIU. I wasn't going there to play around. I was going there to make a statement. So when I first committed, I said I wanted to go there and help change the program. It worked out that way. You can see it right now. They already have the best record in school history, and that's after we already won a bowl game (last season). You can see the improvement. There was a time when nobody wanted to go there, when we were 1-11 (in 2007).
Okay, here are my weekly questions: What's playing the most on your iPod?
Probably (rapper) J. Cole's new album.
What would I be surprised to find on your iPod?
I actually have a lot of R. Kelly slow jams on there.
What website do you visit the most?
I love shoes, so I'm on all types of websites that sell shoes. FlightClubNY.com is one. I'm always on there trying to see when new Air Jordans are coming out. I love Jordans.
So how often do you end up buying a pair of shoes?
Man, probably twice a week. I try not to — seriously. My closet is getting ridiculous.
What reality show do you never miss?
I would have to say Basketball Wives. Stuff is always going down on that show. There was something on there recently with two women messing with the same guy and they were going at it, man.
I had this same conversation with cornerback Elbert Mack. You're a little guy, and you're young. So are people surprised when they find out you play football?
Oh, man. They say stuff like, "You're too young. You look like a baby." They say all kinds of stuff, even, "But you don't have no facial hair!" I can't say nothing to that. I just laugh. It makes it easy to go where you want to go, though. I walk through the mall, and nobody knows who I am. It's a lot easier than (Josh) Freeman or Ronde (Barber).
So what do you do when you're not at One Buc Place?
I'm a simple guy, man. I stay on the PlayStation, and I'll stay up until 2 or 3 (a.m.) playing games. I'm really into it. Right now, I'm playing the basketball game NBA 2K12. That's all I do. I play with the Heat. Guys say I'm cheating, that they have three playmakers. Hey, I play with the best team. I'm trying to win, man.
With Thanksgiving, I'm wondering what does your mom make that's hands down the best?
My mom and my family are up here spending a little time with me. Macaroni, collard greens, ribs. (Ribs) is my special order. She puts that aside for me. She hooks me up. Oh, and I love the banana pudding. That's my favorite.