1) Can you talk a lil bit about your past to present & how you arrived at A&M? Where you grew up? High school/college etc?
I’m from a small town in East Texas called Jewett which is only an hour from College Station. I pretty much grew up there and went to Leon ISD K-12th. I received football, basketball and track offers but decided to attend Texas A&M to run track. I was initially recruited for track at A&M but played football as well. I had a great official visit and it was close to home, I also knew some of the athletes who would come to my HS football games and meets. I knew graduating with an A&M degree meant something and my mom was leaning towards that school. After graduation I wanted to go somewhere with an opportunity to put my talents on display and be surrounded by a good staff. I went on quite a bit of visits but was still unsure. After doing my research, talking to Coach Johnson and a few of the other coaches and players at East Central University in Oklahoma I felt that it was the place for me. I know what I’m capable of and as long as I continue to be myself and hold onto my Faith everything will be fine.
2) Height, weight, position(s)? You can go back to any experience, again high school/college.
Currently 5’9″ 178lbs Wide Receiver, Kick Returner and Punt Returner. If I could go back to any experience it would be the trip to Memphis winning the Bowl game against West Virginia.
3) Biggest off the field obstacle you had to overcome?
Trying to bounce back from hearing the news of my mom having stage 4 cancer in January 2015 and knowing/watching her suffer until she passed away September 16th 2015 while trying to play two sports in college and go to school. A lot was going on during that time that was totally out of my control.
4) Can you take me through your film study process? What are you looking at in terms of yourself & opponent for the next week? Whats the biggest thing you can take from that in terms of scouting your opponent?
I’m looking at strengths and weaknesses of everyone who played in the secondary. I’m looking at their tendencies..do they like to bite on the first move, do they like to fake signal coverages, do they play with urgency, what are they comfortable with, their feet rhythm, do they take plays off, if and when do they wear down, how consistent are they…I’m taking notes of all of that. As far as myself I’m looking at how can I use my strengths against what they do best. The biggest thing I like to take away are exposing the defense’s weaknesses and which one of my strengths are going to be a vital way in showing that.
5) Do you model your game after anyone or like to watch a few WR’s? Who do you think you resemble?
I try to model my game after Antonio Brown and Cole Beasley. Those two always find a way to get open no matter the situation or coverage that they’re in. I also watch Odell and Jarvis Landry. I’ve been told numerous times I play like Marquise Goodwin so I would think I resemble him. He was also a track guy (sprinter and jumper) like myself.
6) What are your biggest/best traits that translate to the next level?
I believe my ability to make guys miss not only in open field but in tight windows will allow me to excel at the pro level as well as putting separation on the defense with my speed. I’m also very disciplined on and off the field, I believe what you do off the field and how you take care of yourself and your body is just as important.
7) Pre snap what are you looking at from your man in game? Are you taking notes throughout the game to see if you can catch him slippin’? What tells you looking for?
Pre-snap I’m looking at the depth of both safeties and the alignment of the corner. Safeties alignment tells me the most whether they are in Cover 2, or Cover 3 etc. I’m looking at their eyes and where the DB backs are facing. Watching film at this level I’m sure I’ll see a lot of 23 or 32 meaning one side may be cover 2 with a cover 3 on the other. I’m always taking mental notes and communicate throughout the game.
8) Tell me something no one knows you can do on the field?
Playing QB in the WR postion. Knowing what the defense is doing makes the game that much easier. Also having played basketball with my vertical I enjoy going up grabbing 50/50 balls.
9) Favorite TV Show/Music artist/groups? What album/song are you listening to pregame?
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Flash or Undisputed. Future, Drake, Migos, Torey Lanez and Meek. Pregame definitely Future. God’s Plan definitely a pre-game go to.
10) Post snap what are looking for if you’re trying to beat your man deep? double move/go?
If I have a good corner on me I’m just getting to his toes quick to force him out of his back pedal or his occasional coverage rhythm. Watching Odell and AB they do a great job of moving safeties with their head and double moves throughout their route.
11) How did playing DB help you now decoding coverage now?
I spent a lot of time watching film and understanding different coverages. I believe my SR Year playing DB I had 6/7 INT’s and took a couple back for TD’s.
12) How do you approach what you do on/off the field? The balance. Constantly trying to get better? How are you getting your edge?
Staying disciplined, I believe that is the most important and waking up with a purpose. Before I lift, practice, ice bath or anything I get locked in and I’m always thinking how this will benefit me later on down the road. I’m constantly trying to get better because I want to be the best, I want to be #1. Focusing on myself instead of others and just making sure I get a tad bit better each day and control what I can control gives me that edge.
13) Biggest off the field influence in your life?
The greatest off the field influence would have to be my mom. She was my #1 fan and supporter, she was the kind of woman who would ride with you through thick and thin. Never once did I ever have to question her loyalty, or love for me. I know she’s still with me even though she’s not with my physically.
14) Best all around weapon on offense & defense playing in the NFL right now?
I’m split between Odell Beckham and Le’Veon Bell, defensively all around I’m taking Von Miller.
15) What’s it like, how’s it feel to play for A&M? The original 12th man?
It was an experience that I will never forget. At the time I had came on was when Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans had just left. Kyle Field was getting renovated, Coach Sumlin was hot, we were in the top of the recruiting class and A&M was the program everyone wanted to be apart of. The fans is definitely what makes Kyle Field special. Given the opportunity to be apart of that and for the coaches to realize the talent I had was a blessing.
16) What’s your favorite route to run & coverage to face & why?
Everything, I like running deep routes and anything across the middle the most. So quick slants, digs, post, fade etc. My favorite coverage to face is Cover 2 because there are many windows in a cover 2 a decent QB can fit the ball. Many double routes or routes towards the sideline between 10 to 20 yards are tough to defend for DB’s. Coverages like Cover 2 Man Under or Cover 5 can be good for me at the slot position because then you’re asking either a backer or nickle to try and match my speed because they are manned up.
17) Biggest improvement you’re trying to make?
The ability to play with my eyes, I believe understanding what you see with your eyes and knowing concepts throughout watching film and repetition in practice allows you to play at a faster tempo. Many times games are won and lost by a simple thing as a change in tempo.
18) Biggest goal for the season?
For me around 1,200 yards for the season while averaging 200 all purpose yards and close to 2 TD’s a game would be beneficial in helping this team win games. As the season gets closer I’ll have to get with Coach Johnson my Head Coach to see what his expectations are of me.
19) Best player(s) you played with & against?
With: Myles Garrett, Armani Watts
Against: James Washington and Nick Shimonek
20) At the end of the day what drives you? What makes you do what you do off the field in practice, training, diet etc & then on the field. Putting your body on the line?
My passion and the ability to know one day I will be able to take care of my family and people who’s helped me along the way drives me. My mom also worked too hard for me to be average. I believe God works in mysterious ways and do not think me being at East Central happened on it’s own or by accident. Pride and hard work has been instilled in me from a young age and to never do anything if I’m not going to do it to the best of my ability. How hard I work in practice will translate onto the field productivity. Consistent training and proper diet for my body gives me a better chance to have a man of steel career and avoid injuries. The best ability is availability and having a close-knit circle of friends and family that help me stay focused and keep God first is the major key to maintaining that balance.
This interview was conducted by Jeff Fidler, follow him on Twitter!