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Kickin' back | Kareem Huggins

Kickin' back with Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Kareem Huggins

You spent the first two-thirds of the season on the practice squad. How hard is that and how much did you miss playing in games?

I missed it a lot. I came here to play football. I love playing. I missed being on the field with all the guys. I miss the atmosphere, the fans, everything.

Can it be hard to feel like part of the team when you're not on the 53-man roster?

Yeah, it's somewhat hard. But the coaches do a great job of trying to make us feel like we're part of the team. But sometimes, when you're not at the game, that's different, man.

I understand you have four sisters. So you're the only boy?

The only one. My house back home, I have 5-year-old twins, I have another sister that just turned 18, and I have an older sister who doesn't live there. And there's my mom. So, it's pretty interesting. It's an experience dealing with all those women. But that's a big part of my life. I just want to be able to help them as much as I can. I want to be in a position where I can help them as much as possible. It's a good feeling when you kind of have to be the man of the house. It helped me grow up a little faster. That taught me a lot.

Like we ask weekly, what's playing the most right now on your iPod?

If I want to listen to rap, I'll listen to Lil Wayne, I'll listen to Nas and Outkast. I'm a big Outkast fan. And I listen to a lot of neo-soul. Anthony Hamilton, Jill Scott, Raheem DeVaughn on the regular. That's what's probably in my car right now.

Would I find anything that would surprise me if I started looking at your iPod?

Something that might surprise is I have some stuff from (rock groups) the Fray or Kings of Leon. I like a couple of the songs they have.

The other thing I ask every week is, what Web site do you visit most?

Well, everybody goes on Facebook, right? That's the way I connect with family and friends. I like to talk to people I knew back in the day, even elementary school.

You and Raheem Morris have a lot of similarities. You're both from Irvington, N.J., and you both attended Hofstra. Do you ever talk about your backgrounds?

We haven't compared notes, but we know some similar people, like back at Hofstra. We talk about Hofstra here and there.

Is there any irony in the fact that two guys from New Jersey and the same school wind up in the same place so far away?

I don't know if he liked me because of our similarities, but he definitely knew of me because of Hofstra. But I think me coming here and working hard allowed him to have a sense of pride about me because I was from Hofstra. And that's our nickname. We're the Hofstra Pride.

Are there any good Raheem stories from Hofstra that have been passed down?

I haven't heard any, but now that I think about it, I may have to ask around and see if there are some funny stories.

Last thing on Hofstra: I'm wondering how sad you were to see the football program discontinued this year. Was that a surprise?

That was definitely a surprise. A lot of us guys have ties there. We always go back there and work out. (Former Hofstra players) Marques Colston, Steve Bowen, Devale Ellis, Charles Sullivan — a lot of us go back there to work out, and that's kind of our bond.

I know you have a few tattoos. Which is your favorite and does it have any significance?

I don't have many. I have a tattoo on my back of the world. In each continent is one of my family members' names. That's the significance. And it's kind of saying that I'm carrying the world on my back. At least my world. The idea is that being in this position, I'll be able to help my mom out, help my family out.

That's very creative. Where did you get the idea?

Well, actually, I was sitting in class one day when I came up with the idea. I probably should have been paying attention. But I just started working on it, and I went to a tattoo (parlor) and the lady there started helping me design it. I always had the idea that my family is my world, so that's where it kind of came from.

Fast facts

Kareem Huggins

Position: Running back

Height, weight: 5-9, 198 pounds

Hometown: Irvington, N.J.

Age: 23

College: Hofstra; a four-year letterman who rushed for 2,178 yards and 21 touchdowns; the Iron Mike Award winner, Hofstra's MVP award, two consecutive seasons.

Pro: Undrafted in 2009; signed to the Bucs' active roster from the practice squad Dec. 8; made his regular-season NFL debut last week.

Kickin' back with Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Kareem Huggins 12/19/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:47pm]
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