What do you love most about the Clemson football program and what does it mean to be commemorated in the statue outside the Reeves Football Complex?
The Clemson football program is not just a team who wins football games. We are a brotherhood and a family. I [have] special relationships and connections made through the program that will last a lifetime. Not only do we win at the highest level, but we produce great young men... men who are prepared to go into life and face whatever challenges come their way. I was completely humbled by the statue. That statue is not just for me; it's for all the people along the way who have helped me excel and grow from a kid to a man. I am proud and now my future children can see that I have left my mark at a special place.
You won two national championships at Clemson. Is one more significant than the other?
It's always special to win, especially when it's for all of the marbles and the competition is at its highest. Both games were great for different reasons, and I loved winning them both. If I had to choose one, it would be the second natty. Nothing like a walk off win to end your career and leave a legacy!
It is often said that nothing unifies this country like sports. What role does football play with regard to the social issues that plague our country?
Football, to me, has always been looked at as an equalizer. Football is the ultimate team sport where you have people from all different races and backgrounds coming together to accomplish one goal. I often view football as a microcosm of what our world should be. Not only that, but as athletes and football players we are given such a great platform to positively impact the world through the game we love.
Because of the pandemic, the upcoming football season could be anything but typical. What are you looking forward to most this season and how did you stay in shape during quarantine?
I'm looking forward to another year of living my dream. Since I was a little kid, I've always wanted to play in the NFL. All my life I have worked like crazy to get the opportunity. Now that I have the opportunity, I intend to thrive and make the most of it and be the best player I can be. To stay in shape, I had to be a pro: I hired a chef and a personal trainer, and they were awesome for me. Now I have rock hard abs and feel really prepared for the upcoming season.
You were a substitute teacher while in college. What did you learn most from that experience and are you still working with kids in any way?
Being a teacher was the most amazing experience. I was so humbled and gained so much respect for all of the work that one has to put into teaching. I went in there with all intentions to teach, but I quickly realized I was the one doing all of the learning. One of the biggest takeaways and something that I kind of already live by is having a "kid" spirit. Oftentimes kids can find the joy in anything and are extremely happy with a lot of energy and always find ways to smile no matter their circumstances.
Favorite TV moment and why: 1) Post-CFP dance-to-split (2017); 2) Post-CFP Coach Swinney wet willy (2019); or 3) Tackling of the Commish at NFL Draft (2019)?
Although I have many TV moments to choose from, nothing beats the draft experience. First and foremost, being on TV and at the draft with my mom on my side and close family and loved ones present, it was special to have everyone there as I got my name called and my dream became reality.
If you could be any movie character, who would you be and why?
Tommy Oliver (the White Power Ranger) from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie. That's always been my answer since I first remember seeing the movie when I was three-years old. I've always wanted to be a Power Ranger, and I'm still working on that. It may sound funny, but Tommy always exemplified great leadership and bravery even when faced with the most difficult challenges.