You've been fortunate to be able to play pro ball close to home (Miami). What's been the biggest benefit of being so close?
Well, me being a mama's boy, it's real comforting that she comes up whenever she wants or whenever I want her to, and my little brother. Just being close to them again is good. Being in Michigan for four years (for college), there wasn't a chance to go home as much as I wanted or for her and my little brother to come up as much as I wanted. But I'm close to my family now. And I'm real close with all of my family members. It just gives them a chance to come see me play.
How did a guy from Miami end up playing at Western Michigan, where I'm sure the weather was kind of shocking?
I had a couple of other offers. I had Penn State, Ohio State, Kansas. But it was just the opportunity to play right away. I was like their blue chip (recruit). So, I felt like I didn't want to redshirt. That was the biggest thing. Everybody else was telling me I would have to redshirt. Then my best friend, Louis Delmas (of the Detroit Lions), had already committed to go there, so it was like a package deal.
So, what was your first winter there like?
At first, my first winter wasn't so bad. It was after we came back from Christmas break, it got real bad. (Before) everybody was like, "So, how is it up there?" I was like, "It's cool. It's not really that cold." Then I came back, and it was crazy.
What was the worst part about the weather?
Man, just walking to class in it. A couple of times, me and Louis just ended up walking to class backward because the snow was flying across so fast. But it was a great opportunity. I had great coaches. I'm still close with all the coaches that recruited me. It was a great atmosphere.
Our weekly question: What's playing the most on your iPod right now?
Probably Lil Wayne. I'm wearing that out right now.
Is there anything on there that would surprise me?
Well, I don't listen to country. But I do have a lot of Miami music. Down there, there are a lot of local rappers that everybody listens to, and there are a lot of (songs) that everybody has a dance to. I have a lot of that.
Do your teammates understand the Miami style?
A couple of them get it. Some of the ones who have been down there. Like, maybe Kyle Moore. He's been down there. And he knows how to do some of the dances.
The other weekly question: What website do you think you visit the most?
I probably get on worldstarhiphop.com, and (I look) at my bank account at Citibank. I want to check it out and make sure nobody is getting into it.
I read that you were a high school quarterback and were the player of the year in Miami-Dade, which is hard to do. Do you miss anything about playing quarterback?
Yeah. You just made a lot of the decisions for your team. A lot of the game was on you. It was fun. You had the ball in your hands all the time. Like I said, you're the guy. That's not for me right now, though. I'm having fun with what I'm doing right now.
What do you remember the most during your time at quarterback?
Probably my sophomore year, I was like 5 feet 7, and in my first game, I threw three touchdowns. I was like, "Wow!" And then, in another game, during my senior year, a lot of our starters were hurt, and we were real banged up, and we beat Miami Central. They were No. 2 in the state at that time. I scored twice and had two interceptions. That was probably the biggest game for me in high school.
You mentioned Louis Delmas earlier. You're best friends. He ended up living with you in high school, right?
I met Louis when I was in sixth grade. He had just moved from Sarasota, and we both played on the same little league team. That was the first year for both of us. And ever since then, he was the running back, and I was the quarterback. And we were close, man. Every time you saw him, you saw me. But then his stepmother was moving, and he wasn't going to be able to go to North Miami Beach (High) anymore. … It was a no-brainer. So, he moved in with us. My mom treated Louis like he was her son anyway. We wanted it to happen. And it went from there. We went through high school and then went to college, and we were roommates there. Still to this day, when we go back home, we stay with my mom. He calls my mom "Mom." I tell everybody that's my cousin, but we're really like brothers.