At Nottingham, coach Lorenzo Jackson told me if I worked hard, I could go far. My sophomore year they threw me in on the varsity, and the rest is history.
My junior and senior year, letters started coming in from various colleges. University of Miami, West Virginia, Syracuse University. But all of those schools pretty much want to red shirt you your first year. I wanted to go in and contribute right away. University of Buffalo told me I could come in, play as a freshman. At the big time schools like Syracuse, I probably wouldn't have seen the field until my second or third year.
The experience was incredible. They provide you with everything. You get your classes first, before the other students. They really treat you good when you're on scholarship at a college. All the sneakers you could wear. Anything that you might need athletically, you had access to. And of course, the free education. I had a sense of the academics, but basically it was do your four years, because I was looking for a career in the National Football League.
Did you really keep the sense that you could play in the NFL?
As a youngster, you're kind of na ve to the odds. The coach my first year in college said they were going to be sure to have everything set up for me to go to the next level. The second year they changed coaches. It was basically like starting all over again. I don't think it affected my motivation, it's just things weren't as sure fire as they were before. I had a couple of pro tryouts. I don't think I was really prepared to try out for NFL teams.
There was a play day at Syracuse University. I'm there with the likes of Terbucky Jones and Donovan Darius. Just to see those guys, they were prepared. They were first round drafts. Just to see the level they were at athletically, I knew I still had work to do. Semi-pro football was available to me. I started with the Storm, under Jerome Hall, then the Express and the Vipers. At one time there were two semi-pro teams in Syracuse.