Attending Stanford University was truly a blessing. Growing up, I have always held academics as high as I held football. I was constantly striving to challenge myself in the classroom and on the field. This was a major factor in my decision to attend Stanford. Having received several scholarship offers from major programs across the US, (including local powerhouse and Coach Carroll led USC) I chose Stanford because I wanted to make an emphasis on the importance of education. It wasn’t about playing for a national juggernaut, Stanford was at the bottom of the Pac 10 (now 12) when I got there. For me it was about being the first student-athlete from Compton to attend Stanford University.
Don’t get me wrong, football is and always will be my passion. I love this game, but it was my goal to obtain a degree that was second to none. I strive to always challenge myself to the fullest, whether it be on the football field, weight room, or classroom, and I knew Stanford would give me a great opportunity to challenge myself in every aspect of life. I wanted to grow as a student, player, and as a person.
Some of the greatest memories I have were with my teammates. That’s what I miss the most. Our success was a direct reflection of how close we were. Teams with no chemistry, often fail to function as one unit. Those years with my teammates are something that I will always remember and I am very thankful for. At Stanford, we all understood our team goals and knew what we needed to do in order to achieve them. It’s great to see several of my teammates now succeeding in the NFL. It was awesome playing next to Andrew Luck, Toby Gerhart, Doug Baldwin, Jonathan Martin, David Decastro. We took great pride in getting Stanford back into the National title conversation.
I truly believe that Stanford has some of the greatest fans in the country, and I am thankful I had the opportunity to play in front of them. I have developed so many friendships that I still maintain today. The amount of support in the Stanford community gave me a sense of family that I will always cherish. Stanford will always be my home away from home and I am proud to be a Cardinal for life! Look forward to seeing them play this weekend against the Washington State Cougars. I’m sure I’ll take some heat from my WSU loving 12’s, but you have to appreciate my love for my alma mater!