Florida senior linebacker:
Q: What are your emotions this week?
A: It’s exciting. It’s bittersweet, knowing I came in and my only official visit here was actually the night game against Florida State (in 2015). It didn’t turn out as well, but I saw the potential in the defense in that game. We just needed an offense to win the game. Just going out the way I came in is kind of crazy, another night game against Florida State. That was my first time in The Swamp. It was an unbelievable experience. It’s just bittersweet to see it come a full 360.
Q: What was it like making the decision to come from Michigan? Was it a little bit of a chance?
A: Definitely a huge decision to make, just knowing that I don’t have family down here and I don’t know what to expect. I just looked at the depth chart. You know, Coach (Randy) Shannon’s like an uncle to me. I love that guy to death. He’s the reason why I built that relationship and came here. I felt comfortable with him and his staff, Coach Skip (Tim Skipper) and all those guys. Coach (Chris) Rumph. I still keep in touch with all those guys. It’s just an unbelievable relationship we built. A big thanks to them for bringing me out here and Gator Nation for giving me a chance and all that good stuff.
Q: Were there skeptics doubting your ability to play in the SEC?
A: Definitely so. You know, kids from Detroit, I feel like SEC schools should recruit them more. You see Kentucky is doing it a little bit. They’re starting to reach out farther than Michigan. I feel like I had a little bit of play in that. I’m excited about that. All the kids in my city really have a chip on their shoulder, especially when they get called down to play SEC ball. We’re told that we can’t or that we need to stay in the Big Ten, but you know, it’s football and we have the ability also.
Q: Do you remember the first time you ran out of the tunnel here?
A: Not the very first time. I do remember the feeling. I remember it was quick. It wasn’t like what I expected because it was like one minute we were stretching in the locker room and the next minute it’s kickoff. It’s like, ‘Whoa, don’t we have a little intermission or see the other team.’ It was just fast. It was quicker than a normal game I was used to in high school.
Q: How much does it mean to you to be part of the turnaround in the program?
A: It means a lot. It’s just a blessing to go to a school like Florida with the prestige it has, as far as the academics it has and also the football. We had great coaches before and they got fired or they left whatever, things happened. You know just trust in the program and the University of Florida is going to put you in the best situation. We go out and get Coach Mullen and he’s a great competitor, a guy that wants to win and cares for his guys. He brings on Grantham and brings on Coach Rob. Those are great guys. Love them to death, too. I’m happy for the guys that are going to commit here so they’ve got a lot of stuff to look forward to because I feel like this staff is staying unless something crazy happens or somebody tries to buy somebody out. For the most part, it’s a great staff and I’ve been blessed with all great staffs since I’ve been here, from Coach Collins, every year, Coach Shannon, Coach Mac, Coach Mullen, so I’ve been blessed.e