While it took me a few years as a young kid to find the sport of football, once I did, there was no holding back.
My dad, a former college and NFL player, encouraged me to give the sport a try when I was around the age of seven.
The moment I stepped onto that field, I knew I had found my calling.
My dad played cornerback at Oklahoma State in college and had stints with both the Cardinals and the 49ers in the NFL.
Watching him play and hearing about his stories and experiences was incredibly motivating.
Just imagining the possibility of following in his footsteps inspired me.
My first stop
Coming out of high school, I primarily played as a quarterback, which didn’t garner many big-time offers.
But Arkansas approached me with the idea of walking on as a safety or receiver, considering my dad’s background as a cornerback.
They also talked to me about the potential to earn a scholarship, which was really important to me.
And honestly, I was confident in my abilities to make that happen.
But, initially, I joined Arkansas as a walk-on.
During my redshirt freshman year, I made contributions on all four special teams.
And then, during my redshirt sophomore year, just before the first game of the season, coaches casually called me into the office and surprised me with a scholarship. No doubt, to this day, this remains one of the most unforgettable moments of my life.
Moving forward, I played under Sam Pittman during my last two years at Arkansas, but as life evolved, so did my goals. Despite achieving a lot at Arkansas and earning my degree, I sought a new challenge, leading me to Memphis.
Route to Memphis
The transfer process was actually quite interesting, and I explored a few different options, including Memphis, obviously.
Something about the Tigers felt right, though, especially with the encouragement of my teammate, Reid Bauer, who also transferred to Memphis from Arkansas.
And after meeting the coaches and learning more about their winning mentality and genuine desire for player success, it became a pretty easy choice.
Despite being a transfer, I felt incredibly honored — and still do — when my teammates elected me as one of the captains. It’s a tremendous honor and a testament to the trust and respect I’ve earned from them.
I try to lead by example, always willing to step up and do what’s needed, whether it’s studying film, ensuring proper alignment, or supporting my teammates in any way possible.
For them to recognize that and trust in my abilities to help lead us to success means the world.
My dad also played a significant role in shaping my leadership mindset, emphasizing discipline and knowledge, both vital aspects of football.
Understanding the game’s intricacies, the Xs and Os, is what sets players apart, and my dad instilled that in me.
Looking ahead, I’m excited to earn my master’s degree and finish my college football career here at Memphis.
As a team, we’ve had a good start to the season, and despite a tough loss against #24 Missouri, we know what we are capable of.
In fact, we believe we can win conference this year which is what we’re shooting for.
When it’s all set an done here with the Tigers, my eyes are set on the NFL dream. However, if that path takes a different turn, I would love to be a coach. My passion for football drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, and college coaching, in particular, appeals to me as it’s a crucial time for player development.
From a young kid falling in love with the sport to becoming a team captain here at Memphis, I’m definitely prepared for whatever the future holds.
I’m just grateful that I get to do what I love every day and have the best people support me day in and day out.