Note: The following appears in the Georgia Tech gameday football program. To purchase a copy of the program while supplies last, send a check for $7 to Clemson Athletic Communications; P.O. Box 31; Clemson, SC 29633 with your return address.
Q. What about the program drew you to Clemson?A. When I visited, I noticed that all of the players got along like family, and that was a big selling point.
Q. What effect did your lengthy injury layoff last season have on your mindset?A. It was tough to suffer a broken foot two days before fall camp ended, but I persevered through it thanks to encouragement from my family, coaches and teammates. I continued to work hard, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to see it pay off.
Q. What is the mentality of the players this season?A. Last season, we tasted a lot of success, but we want even more this year, because we know the ultimate goal is to constantly improve and chase titles.
Q. What impact have your position coaches had?A. They’ve had a significant impact on me. Coach (Marion) Hobby and coach (Todd) Bates both played football at a high level, so they know the game and are great coaches because of it.
Q. What has it been like to play for Dabo Swinney?A. It’s been great. There’s not a better example of a player’s coach in America. He always has his players’ best interests at heart because he wants us to have the best experience possible at Clemson.
Q. As a veteran, what is your leadership style?A. In terms of leadership, the key is being a servant of the game. I try to serve my teammates and not control my teammates because it shows that I care, and that helps with building strong relationships.
Q. What is your approach to playing football?A. I always try to be great where my feet are, meaning I take it one moment at a time when I’m on the field. I don’t look forward because I know that if I do my best in the present, it will lead to a great outcome.
Q. What do you enjoy most about the defensive line?A. I like the physicality that comes with it. Also, I really enjoy getting to play alongside my best friends up front. I have great relationships with all of the defensive linemen here.
Q. What is your pregame ritual?A. Before warmups, I go to the far corner of the endzone, where I work on my get-offs and stretch. Then, I pray for everyone’s safety and jog back into the locker room while listening to my favorite song.
Q. What is your favorite memory as a Tiger?A. On a day off, we went to “Club All In” in the team room, and we dressed up and sang karaoke. It was an unforgettable moment to have so much fun with the people you’ve put in so much hard work with.
FAVORITESActor – Denzel WashingtonAthlete – Cam NewtonClass – Public speakingFood – Crab legsHobby – FishingLift – Power cleanMusician – Kodak BlackSport other than football – BaseballTelevision show – Scandal
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