I know what I’m capable of.
I love making big plays and leaving my mark on each game.
But lately, I was in a bit of a funk.
You see, I just haven’t been performing the way I wanted to. It’s not like I had bad games per se, but I didn’t have those ‘turning-point-moments’ that I was kind of known for.
And honestly, I was quite frustrated.
A few weeks ago, in the middle of our game against Temple, I had to release those frustrations.
I vented to my teammates on the sideline.
Yes, we were up, and yes, that’s really all that matters, I know.
But I’m a competitive guy.
Just because we win doesn’t mean everything’s going well, right?
So, I had to let it out and express my feelings.
My teammates padded me on my shoulders, told me to keep my head up, and encouraged me to just keep trying.
What may sound like a basic ‘pep talk’ meant a lot to me in that moment — it kept me fired up and ready to give this extra 10%, you know?
And then, it happened.
The next play, I got an interception.
And best of it all, my teammates went nuts.
I felt this huge weight off my shoulders. I put my hands together and thanked God for this opportunity — the opportunity to be here at Memphis after transferring twice, playing DI football, and competing next to guys who lift me up and guide me to greatness.
And God knows that me being here — experiencing all of this — wasn’t very likely at all.
Thankfully, I found Memphis.
Love for the game
But before I found Memphis, I had to find my love for football.
Growing up, football was a part of me.
My brothers played, and I was constantly surrounded by the sport — watching it on TV, playing Pop Warner, you name it.
The love was always there. No question.
But sometimes, love wanes.
Or, as it was in my case, I also loved other things.
More specifically, I was super passionate about basketball, too.
In fact, I even stopped playing football in tenth grade and was all-in for basketball.
Fortunately, I had a good support system that encouraged me not to give up so quickly.
After a few months away from the game, my parents, brothers, and coaches talked me into giving football another shot.
And so I did.
Honestly, I’m not quite sure where I’d be today if it wasn’t for their encouragement and extra push.
I’ll always be grateful for them looking out for me and having those conversations with me.
They changed my life.
So, here I was, back at football.
Now, it was time to find the right fit.
I started my collegiate career at Troy.
As most freshmen do, I primarily sat on the sidelines and soaked up as much as I could from our veterans.
I learned a lot and am super grateful for the lessons learned at Troy.
However, when our head coach left the program, I decided to transfer and joined UNC Charlotte.
And Charlotte was amazing.
Things were going well, but after two years with the 49ers, I felt like I needed another change.
I don’t know, I guess I just thought I hadn’t reached my full potential yet.
Transferring a second time is a very rare scenario in college.
And this decision definitely weighed on me even more than the previous one.
It’s always scary taking a shot in the dark and starting from scratch someplace else.
After all, you never know how you actually fit in until you get there.
Man, so many scenarios ran through my head.
But, at the end, I took a leap of faith and entered the transfer portal.
Soon after, I landed at Memphis.
While this was one of the hardest decisions of my life, doubtlessly, it was also one of the best ones.
I feel at home here in Memphis.
I’m getting the opportunities to show who I am and am learning from some of the best coaches in the country.
On top of that, the culture here is just different.
For example, we all have an accountability partner to ensure we stay on track and do what we’re supposed to do.
You’re usually paired with someone you don’t interact with a lot, so you can get to know them better, too.
Football teams are huge, and you can get a bit segregated. The offense hangs out with offense guys, defense with defense, et cetera. So, having accountability partners from another side of the team really gives us a different perspective and only strengthens the team’s bond.
All in all, after multiple stops, I’m just beyond glad to be here at Memphis.
Each of my chapters has played a huge role in shaping me into who I am today, but here, I really feel like I get the fine-tuning I need to reach that next level.
One of the things I learned through all of this is that if you don’t take risks, you might not lose much, but you probably won’t gain much, either.
I’m just so grateful to have always had a wonderful tribe around me that picked me up when I was down, helped me with these tough decisions, and is now here with me at my new home in Memphis.