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Kickin' back with Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mossis Madu

Mossis Madu grew up in Norman, Okla., rooting for the Longhorns and the Hurricanes and initially wanting to play for UCLA. But the Bucs running back, with input from his mother, ended up playing for his hometown Sooners.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Mossis Madu grew up in Norman, Okla., rooting for the Longhorns and the Hurricanes and initially wanting to play for UCLA. But the Bucs running back, with input from his mother, ended up playing for his hometown Sooners.

You grew up in Norman, Okla. So I'm wondering: Did you grow up a Sooners fan?

Actually, no. Not at all. I actually hated Oklahoma when I was growing up. I was a Texas and Miami guy. I was about the "U." I used to love the U. But I was born in Texas, so I also felt like I had to represent them.

So when did you move to Oklahoma?

When I was in kindergarten. But I already loved Texas, even that early.

So did you openly represent Texas in Norman? That wouldn't be too popular.

No, not at all. But when they played Texas, I would definitely root for Texas.

What do you remember most about watching football when growing up?

I really remember Barry Sanders and watching him. He used to do guys in, man. And I remember the (Dallas) Cowboys. That's back when they were real good. I loved Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin.

So how did you go from hating Oklahoma to going to school there? How did you come around?

I definitely had choices. But they win. Hey, they win championships. I got five rings in five years there (four Big 12 championships, one Fiesta Bowl). So between them winning and all that tradition they have, it was hard not to. I really started to pay attention when I started playing varsity football. Then when they showed an interest in me, I really started paying attention. But besides Oklahoma, my other (choice) was UCLA. I really wanted to go there. I took my official (visit) there, and I told my mom, "That's where I want to go. I want to go to the West Coast." But, man, she had this look in her eyes. I was like, "Man, I guess I'll stay home."

Were you friends with Gerald McCoy while at Oklahoma?

Man, we were like brothers, actually. We're both from Oklahoma, so we've known each other since we were sophomores in high school. We went to an OU football camp together, and we were basically roommates. That's where we met, and we became really close. So it was a blessing to come here to Tampa because we're still real close.

I notice a lot of Oklahoma guys are really tight. Why is that?

Coach (Bob) Stoops preaches that whole family atmosphere, and we really buy into it. It really is like a family up there. There's times when guys talk about transferring but say, "Man, I don't want to leave you guys." It's something special.

All right, here are my weekly questions: What's playing the most on your iPod right now?

The new Drake album.

What website do you visit most?

Facebook.

How many Facebook friends do you have?

Man, I hit the max. I have more than 5,000. I can't even add any more.

I didn't know there was a limit.

Me neither. Not until it popped up and told me I couldn't add any more friends.

How many of those people do you actually know?

Probably less than 1,000 of them.

What reality show do you never miss?

The X Factor. I'm into that stuff, all those singing shows where they compete. I like to see people come on there and then blow up and get famous.

Would you have the confidence to go on one of those shows?

Oh, man, I don't know about that. That would take some guts.

Okay, does Raheem Morris finally know your name? He keeps messing it up.

Ha! You know, I don't think he does. When he first told the team that I was being activated (from the practice squad), he said, "We're going to activate Madu Mossis today." I was like, "Come on, Coach." Gerald (McCoy) turned around and started laughing at me.

What do you do when you are not stuck at One Buc Place?

I'm a true gamer. I play Call of Duty all the time. But I'll tell you what, I want to learn how to play the guitar. I think I'm going to buy one pretty soon. I've always wanted to learn how to play. I've always loved music. I've never really played any instruments, but I think I have a music gene in me or something. I love music. So, I've decided I'm going to learn.

.Biography

Mossis Madu

Position: Running backHeight/weight: 6-0; 197

Hometown: Norman, Okla.

College: Oklahoma; played 40 games as a running back and receiver, scoring nine touchdowns; was the primary kick returner as a junior, recording 471 yards.

Pro: Undrafted in April; signed by the Bucs in July; signed to the practice squad before being promoted to the active roster in November; rushed eight times for 25 yards in his debut Dec. 4 against the Panthers; had one carry for 6 yards against the Jaguars on Sunday.

Kickin' back with Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mossis Madu 12/16/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 16, 2011 9:21pm]
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