So, when you were a kid and started playing football, did you used to emulate certain players?
When I started playing football in high school, and when I wanted to try to (improve) my game, I'd go to YouTube and watch Walter Payton and Barry Sanders. Those are the guys I'd try to emulate.
What was it that drew you to Walter Payton?
It was just his physical running style. He'd hit one guy, then come off him and hit another guy and then go off and run for a touchdown. He had a lot of yards after contact.
What did you like about Barry Sanders?
I liked his elusiveness. I loved how nimble he was and his ability to make guys miss. It was like his legs would go one way and his body would go the other way. He was unbelievable.
How did you learn an appreciation for those old-school running backs? You're pretty young.
Well, when I thought of great running backs, those were the guys I thought of. Back when I was in high school, we had more recent guys playing: Reggie Bush, (LaDainian Tomlinson), guys like that. I went further back.
You're from Stockton, Calif. What do you miss most about home?
Probably my room at home. The weather's a little different. We don't get a lot of hurricanes. I just miss home.
Yeah, but you still have your room at home, right?
No. My mom turned it into an office.
Yeah, man. Can you believe that? She moved my room downstairs to her old office.
So, are you saying she downgraded you?
Yes. She definitely downgraded me. So, now, when my sister's not there I stay in her room. But it's a little girly.
Let's move on to our weekly questions: What's playing most nowadays on your iPod or iPhone?
Well, I listen to a lot of R&B and hip-hop. But I've gotten into some other genres, too.
What's the latest album you bought?
It was a Michael Jackson album. His greatest hits. I was a big Michael Jackson fan growing up. Anybody could tell you that.
So, how deep was this Michael Jackson thing?
It was big. At school dances, I was that guy who pulled out the M.J. moves. At family reunions, I did it, too. There's a couple YouTube videos out there (see http://bit.ly/MC52xz). I won the dance competition we had before the Las Vegas Bowl (while at Boise State).
What website do you visit most?
How much time a day do you spend on there?
Uh, quite a bit. Maybe two hours a day.
What reality show do you never miss?
Well, I don't really have one that I watch religiously. But I used to watch Flavor of Love quite a bit.
So, you're not a big reality show guy? What's the worst one on TV?
Oh, Jersey Shore. I cannot stand that show. It gets on my nerves when people get famous for being on a bad TV show.
Changing gears, I understand your mom is a prosecutor back home. Has she ever caught you lying?
Oh, yeah. Back in the day, in my young and reckless days. Quite a few times.
Did she interrogate you?
I felt like I was being interrogated all the time. She's pretty good, man.
What's it like being cross-examined by your mom?
It's an experience. She would just keep asking questions until you don't get your story straight. She's funny. She doesn't call it being "grounded." She calls it "restriction." It's the same thing but it sounds worse.
How long would restrictions last and what did they consist of?
Probably a week. That meant no TV on the weekends and you couldn't go out with your friends. We weren't allowed to watch TV during the weekdays. I'm not going to do that to my kids though (laughing).
So, did the legal field ever interest you?
I tried criminal justice and I realized it just wasn't for me. I majored in business.
So, if football hadn't worked out, what would you be doing now?
I'd probably be running my own business of some kind. I'd be an entrepreneur.
What was the best advice you got from your parents?
Just that football wasn't everything. It's not set in stone. My mom always told me to have a backup plan. She used to say that the chance of becoming a (pro) football player was like seeing a shooting star. So, I definitely hit the books hard.