Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kickin' back with Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie linebacker Lavonte David

Coming out of high school, Lavonte David didn’t have the grades or test scores to go to a I-A school. So he went to a junior college.


Coming out of high school, Lavonte David didn’t have the grades or test scores to go to a I-A school. So he went to a junior college.

You and (Bucs cornerback) Anthony Gaitor were on the same high school team, Miami Northwestern. Who was the better player then?

Well, he already had his name out there, so I would say he was at the time. He wore No. 1 on our team. He was on the map.

Gaitor's class went out with a state championship. Did that set a pretty high standard for your class the following year?

Oh, yeah. That year, when I was a junior, we had a lot of juniors who contributed to that state championship team. So we had really high expectations with the same guys as seniors. It was great. We won the state championship my senior year, too. But I really think my junior year was better. We had eight shutouts that season. It was kind of unbelievable.

You had to go to junior college before you went to Nebraska. Was that disappointing? And what did you learn?

I wasn't disappointed. I did feel like I let myself down, though. It was because of academic issues. I just told myself I should've done a better job in the classroom, gotten higher test scores. It was on me. I couldn't be mad at anybody else. Junior college was rough. It humbled me. Coming from Miami, a big city, and then going to a small town in Kansas, not knowing anyone, that was hard. But that kind of helped me out, too. I was able to just focus on football. Everything just worked out.

I guess it was a lot different than a (Division I-A) school.

My junior college was fortunate enough to have dorms and nice classrooms, and they fed us. But the food, man, it wasn't all that great. And our scholarships were iffy. You would have to come out of your own pocket sometimes. It was kind of rough. But I learned I can stay focused. I set goals, and I (achieved) them.

These are my weekly questions. First, what is playing the most right now on your iPod/iPhone?

I always press random. But I do like a lot of R&B. I just bought the new Trey Songz album.

What website do you visit the most?

I would say WorldStarHipHop. com.

What reality show do you watch most regularly?

I always watch Tiny and T.I. (which features rapper T.I. and his wife). I think it's a nice family show. I'm not a big reality TV fan. That's probably the only one I watch. Once I get home, I like watching cartoons, actually.

Cartoons? Which ones?

I like Family Guy, American Dad, those kinds of shows.

What's your favorite one?

Family Guy.

Who's your favorite character?

Stewie. Oh, and Peter.

You linebackers like to have fun. Which veteran gives you, as a rookie, the most grief?

I would say Adam Hayward. He's always messing with me.

Who has been your biggest role model?

I would definitely say my parents. I just appreciate them giving me life and staying on top of me and for keeping me humble.

Did all of that come to fruition on draft day?

Yes. I think my parents are my biggest fans, actually, through bad or good. I gave my mom a big hug, and I shook my dad's hand and hugged him. He just told me, "Now don't stop here."

What about the rest of your family?

I have two brothers and a sister. I'm the youngest.

So you're the baby. Were you spoiled?

No, but everybody says that. They used to watch me when I was little. We all get along great, though. They all came to the game last week, and it was great. I had my brothers, my sister, parents, aunts, friends, everybody. It felt great to come out (of the locker room) and see them and get hugs from everybody. They got to watch me live out my dream. They were so proud. But in the end, nothing changed. I'm just the same guy to them.

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at


Lavonte David

Position: LinebackerHeight/weight: 6-1; 233

Age: 22Hometown: Miami

College: Nebraska; started 27 games; recorded 285 tackles, 28 for loss, with 111/2 sacks; named first-team All-American as a senior in 2011; helped lead Fort Scott (Kan.) to 2009 junior college national title game.

Pro: Drafted in second round in April (58th overall); earned starting job on the weakside in camp; led Bucs with six tackles in opener.

Kickin' back with Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie linebacker Lavonte David 09/14/12 [Last modified: Saturday, September 15, 2012 4:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge


    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]
  2. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz celebrates his Trop-record 482-foot home run in the ninth inning.
  3. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  4. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)