1. How did you get started playing football?
I got started playing football around the age of 8, after my father and I realized that I was faster than most of the kids in my state, during AAU track that summer.
2. What separates you from all the other athletes trying to become a professional?
The thing that separates me from all other athletes trying to become a professional is my discipline. There are many distractions in society and life that can take focus away from your professional career and it takes discipline (and will) to persevere. Knowing what to do and executing what to do should be done in sequence, but many others lose sight of this. This is where discipline comes in and this is what I pride myself on.
3. Tell us about your college choice, career and what the recruiting process was like.
I want to start this answer off by saying that I wasn’t recruited out of high school to go to any college or university. I was a late bloomer (5’9 135 lbs out of high school) with a baby face, but I was fast. In football my senior year, I only caught 18 passes, but averaged 26.6 yards per catch and 5 tds. Nonetheless, the fact that we were 4-6 and my size is most likely the reason I didn’t receive any looks. After a couple years off of school, I chose Otterbein because they offered a solid marketing program, I was in commission sales at the time, and my job gave me a big opportunity in Columbus. Another plus was that I loved track (made it to state senior year in the 4x400) and they had an indoor track that I could practice on whenever I pleased. Long story short, I fell in love with track, my body matured (6’3 200lbs currently), and I left otterbein as a decorated track and field athlete (5x Conf. Champion, 2x National Qualifier, 3 school records). After this, I utilized my marketing concentration to start a career in digital marketing and play some football on the side (semi pro).
4. What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far? I would have to say the biggest accomplishment would have to be winning conference in the 100 m dash in my senior year. I came into the event ranked in 10th place and I was the only person in the facility that knew I was going to win. After various other misfortunes, this is the same mindset that I carry to this day.
5. What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from the coaching staff?
One of the more important things I learned from the coaching staff would be to stay focused. There are going to be trials and tribulations that you face (injuries and plateaus), but perseverance will allow you to reach the finish line, literally!
6. What is/was your biggest challenge and how do/did you manage it?
My biggest challenge was staying healthy during my semi pro football season last summer, despite not being compensated for my efforts. I knew I had to get film, but I would have to make this sacrifice to do it in order to show what I could do. I overcame it by studying film and learning how to help the team win while protecting myself in the process.
7. What is your biggest strength or X factor that you bring to a professional team? My X factor would have to be my speed. My first few steps are quick which allows me to take small plays and make them BIG. For my height I feel as though this is a vital aspect.
8. Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?
I would have to say it is my cousin Erik(Finklea). Unheard of by many, he is a legend in Cincinnati as a running back. I looked up to him and he is one of the major reasons why I play football to this day.
9. What are your goals with football? If football does not work out, then what?
My short term goal would be to learn the entire playbook of a professional team. I say this because receiving the playbook means that I have made a roster(or at least received an opportunity).
10. How did you prepare for the national scouting combine and what are your expectations?
I prepared for the National scouting combine by getting a speed program from Movefaster.org . They detailed what I should eat and do (workout wise) on a daily basis. My expectations are to follow instructions, run as fast as humanly possible, jump out of the facility, catch everything that comes my way and have fun! This is a chance to show what discipline does for a professional.
11. What would be your ultimate achievement?
My ultimate achievement would be retiring from professional sports!
12. If you have to compare yourself to a current pro player, who would it be and why? I would say Julio Jones because our combine numbers are the exact same!