I didnt really know what to expect from going to juco. So I just went in with a open mind and had one goal, to get back to Division 1 football. I think alot of people get discourage when they realize they have to go to a juco. I can say personally it was a good experience for me and actually helped in some ways. I was able to knock out alot of classes so when i transfer to tennessee it will help me graduate quicker. I obviously wasn't the average juco player who couldn't qualify out of high school, or didn't have many schools interest, or got kicked out of school for grade issues. I was a qualifier out of high school and didn't have any grade issues while attending USC. So going to juco was my own decision. The competition i saw was still good to go against. People may think you go to juco because you're not good enough but really the players are just as good. they may have just made wrong decisions that prevented them from getting any offers out of high school or they may have bounced back from a university like me for whatever reason.
Recruiting part 2
When i first got to juco i thought about staying close to home again and going to ucla once i graduated from juco, but as the year went on i started feeling more like going away for college since i had already expericened staying home for USC. As my name began getting hot again colleges were starting to come around and offer. I went through different phases. At one point i was feeling like goin back to the pac-10. Either oregon state, arizona, or washington. Then one night i got a call from tennessee and talked to coach joseph about coming on a visit and i agreed to it. Some time went by and miami got in contact with me but the hold up at first was that coach shannon wasn't taking juco players unless they were mid-year transfers and i had to stay a year to get my aa degree. So miami kinda fell off for a while and ohio state got in the mix. So now i was feeling like i didnt wanna go back to the pac-10. One thing i knew for sure was i wasn't gonna make a decision until i took all my official visits and evaluated every school because there wasn't gonna be anymore transferring so i had to make the right decision. Somebody asked can i give some insight on how recruiting was different for me this time around. The main thing was i was gonna make the decision myself and no one was gonna influence me. I took all 5 visits and in high school i only took 2 and not one was even to usc. I took my time and waited the whole process out. I left no questions unanswered when talking with all the coaches. It helped me having already been through the process. I knew what to expect and how to separate the real from fake. So anyway once my season ended i was feeling the SEC alot and i had three SEC visits set up and one to ohio state and oregon state. My first one was tennessee and i loved everything about it. The whole weekend was perfect just like any other official visit they gonna make it perfect but it was something different about UT that was telling me this might be the place and i was tempted to commit but i had to take my other trips first. After that, visit after visit i took I would come home and pretty much tell the school i wasn't interested anymore. Around christmas time miami had hired coach golden and he was in contact with me right away. He seemed like a real good guy and another positive was that he had two former coaches i was with at USC on his staff at miami. I canceled a trip to LSU and replaced it with miami. It became clear it was gonna be a tennessee and miami battle for me. The miami trip was another great trip. Everything about it was what i was looking for in a school. So i commited to them. As i rode the plane back home i was starting to think did i make the right decision or was i just caught in the moment? I didn't really feel the way i felt on my tennessee trip but miami made sense. They had no corners, i would get a good education, and i would be coming in with the new staff. But once i got home i couldn't stop thinking about tennessee and that was my first visit which means for them to still be strong on my mind it had to be something special there. So i called the miami coaches and told them i had made a mistake and commited too early. And i would make my final decision before signing day. I thought about that feeling i had at tennessee and playing in the SEC. I liked the vol for life program coach dooley runs, and the football program itself was in place since the UT coaches had been there and proven they could win and get to a bowl game. The miami coaches was only there for a month leading up to signing day. After sleeping on it for a few days and praying i decided i would be a vol.
No matter what your dreams are you just gotta believe in yourself and believe u can make your dreams come true. We all take different paths to get to our dreams but if u stick with it u can acheive it. People say i was crazy for leaving USC, i probably was but look at me now. I haven't missed a beat. My dream started off as being a pro football player and it still is. But the path im on to getting there is a dream itself. I'll be able to say i attended two great universities, I've traveled to places i never thought I would see. And im gonna be getting a free education all because of football. And u know what ? Im just getting started.
More questions answered
What's the thing you are looking forward to the most when you step into Neyland Stadium for your first game?
Just running through the T and seeing orange everywhere and hearing 100,000 fans going wild. Also cant wait to make them go crazy on my first interception
S or CB? Who do you look to for inspiration? Favorite athlete growing up?
As far as i know i'll be starting out at corner, but if the coaches need me to play safety i can. Wherever I'm needed the most. I pretty much inspire myself and motivate myself to do good so one day i can take care of my family. If you can't motivate yourself you shouldn't be in football, its all mental. Never really had a favorite athlete but if i had to choose one it would be ray lewis because he plays the game with so much love and passion
What do u bring to UT football? What is your goal you want to achieve while there?
I bring a competitive drive that won't quit or give up when times get hard. I try to elevate people's play around me by leading by example and pushing others to their limit. I wanna win the national championship before i leave and hopefully the thorpe award
Whats going to be the biggest adjustment moving to Knoxville?
Dont really know, probably the weather but thats not really a big issue. Just looking forward to getting there and playing football.