Catching up with O.J. Small

Published: Thursday, September 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 at 6:49 p.m.
Here, in part, is an Aug. 25 interview Eric Orvieto had with former Gator O.J. Small. Now a wide receiver with the Tennessee Titans.
Eric Orvieto: What's the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome in your football career?
O.S.: Showing people that speed is not everything.
E.O.: How would you build the perfect receiver?
O.S.: I would take from Terrell Owens. I would take his strength, how he plays the game. He's strong with it, a physical receiver. I'll say Randy Moss' ability to go deep and out-jump people. Marvin Harrison's quickness. I'd say Tory Holt's hands or Jerry Rice's hands, both are just fine. And now I have to take somebody's heart, huh? I'd keep my own heart; I like my own heart.
O.S.: : I've taken a couple of those. In college, in the Georgia game of this last year. I can't remember who hit me, though. I just can't remember who hit me. I caught the ball, my helmet flew off, my pads slid over, it was just hard.
E.O.: Hardest hit or block you've put on someone?
O.S.:: Let me see. Oh, one against Florida State, he was No. 10 (Stanford Samuels). It wasn't this past year; it was the year before last, when we played them at our stadium. I just cut him. I cut him running full speed. He was about to make a tackle, and I just cut him at the legs.
E.O.: Best catch you've ever made?
O.S.:: I'd probably say against Ole Miss in the back of the endzone. It had to be two years ago.
E.O.: Three people, dead or alive, you would want at your dream dinner party?
O.S.:: Wow, let me see. Anybody? I can get in trouble; I have a girlfriend reading this. OK, Michael Jordan. Let me see who else. Red Fox and, let's say, Michael Jackson. Everybody wants to meet Michael Jackson.
E.O.: Five words that describe O.J. Small?
O.S.:: Quiet, determined, humble, hard-working. Lets see. Well, take that determined off and put dedicated. Loyal, and let's take that quiet off. Outgoing, yeah, outgoing.
E.O.: Favorite hobby off the field?
O.S.:: Playing basketball. I'm pretty good.
E.O.: Best wide receiver in Florida Gator history?
O.S.:: Who should I take between Travis McGriff and Willie Jackson? I'll say Willie Jackson.
E.O.: Where do you rank O.J. Small?
O.S.:: Oh, I'm up there with the top now; I think I'm near the top. I didn't have the same passes thrown and wasn't in the same offense, but I'd say I'm in the top seven probably. I'd say that some people will remember my name.
E.O.: Favorite football player growing up?
O.S.:: Jerry Rice.
E.O.: Biggest influence on your life?
O.S.:: My two brothers, Eddie Small and Tony Small, and my mom, Althonia Small. Also put my granddad, Cleveland Williams, there also. They were all very big parts of my life.
E.O.: Best moment of your football career?
O.S.:: Just having the opportunity to be here where I'm at today, trying to make an NFL roster.
E.O.: What would you be doing if you weren't playing football?
O.S.:: I'd probably be trying to open up my own business. I want to buy and sell houses and open up my own apartment complex.
E.O.: Here is some word association. I say a name and you say the first words that pop into your head. Rex Grossman.
O.S.:: Gifted E.O.: Chris Leak.
O.S.:: Smart.
E.O.: Steve Spurrier.
O.S.:: Offensive genius.
E.O.: Ron Zook.
O.S.:: Wow, what comes up for him? Let's see. Intense, yeah, that's the word.
E.O.: Urban Meyer.
O.S.:: Demanding, I think.
E.O.: The Swamp.
O.S.:: Fearful. It puts fear in peoples hearts.
E.O.: The Georgia Bulldogs.
O.S.:: Puppies.
E.O.: Florida State Seminoles.
O.S.:: Aw, man. Florida State? I just don't like Florida State.

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