Do you have a particular memory from the Frisco trip that you think will stand out above the rest when you look back?
I would say coming out of the tunnel was one of the most fun experiences that I’ve ever had in my life. And I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. I just had chills the entire time.
The narrative has been talked about a lot, but you obviously bounced back quite well from the spring season. But with Quincy winning the job out of camp and starting the year off, how did you maintain that positive mindset and keep moving forward so that you were able to perform when your time came?
I kind of felt bad for myself a little bit after I didn’t win the job. I just really leaned on my father, who I really look up to, and he kind of directed me in the way of my faith. I think that’s really what brought me out from that darkness and got me to where I am today. I don’t think I would have been able to perform the way I did when my name was called. It’s just a credit to the man above.
How long do you think you were in that darkness? How long did it take you to really turn around?
I was down for probably two to three weeks. I was pretty upset. And I think it was really apparent to my teammates. I wasn’t having good practices after they named Quincy the starter. I was just upset with myself. But, you know, like I said, my faith and my father really helped bring me out of that darkness that I was in for two or three weeks.
What is it like entering a game like that Missouri State game?
I was not expecting that at all. I thought Quincy had played pretty well in that game… I was pretty nervous. Obviously, I think a lot of people would be. But at the same time, I didn’t have anything to lose. We were already down… I just went out and really played free when I stepped out on the field.
How did your actual experience of winning the national championship differ from your expectation of what it might be like going into it?
I think it exceeded my expectation of what I thought it was going to feel like, because I hadn’t really won anything in my life. I never won anything in high school, even middle school, never won a state championship. I won conference titles, but you know, that’s a lot different.
What are you trying to work on over the offseason?
I need to get bigger and stronger. I feel like my physique and just my body weight is not big enough to take some of the hits that I took this year. I feel really comfortable with the playbook already.
At a very young age here, you’ve gone through a lot of life experience. What have you learned leadership-wise that you’re going to take to this team going into this next year?
That bad things are going to happen. And it’s just about how you respond. I feel like your response is more important than anything else. If you feel sorry for yourself, and you just give up, then you’re going to go nowhere. But if you put your head down and go to work each and every day, you’re going to get results.