"[God] gave me the ability to play so I think it’s my responsibility to play as well as I can. I think, and I disagree with this, a lot of people say God is a big part of their lives, but that sells Him short. I think God is not just a part of their lives but is a part of everything. Everything you do, He’s there somewhere."
Q: What has it been like transitioning from the SEC to the ACC?
A: Playing is pretty much the same, the scene is a little bigger down there, it’s the South so football is what people do down there. There are no pro teams so the focus is on college football. As far as the level of play and competition, it’s pretty much the same. The ACC puts as many guys in the NFL as the SEC. The atmosphere is a little different up here in the Northeast but apart from that it’s pretty much the same.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge in the transition and what has been the best part?
A: I think getting adjusted to living somewhere else. I’ve lived in Kentucky my whole life and then the day after I turned 22, I moved to Boston for a year. I got here in January so it was cold and the first two months were a little shaky. Thankfully I have great teammates and great roommates and they got me acclimated well. It also helped that I was playing football. Football is football everywhere you go. It’s also been nice being in such a great part of the country. There’s a lot of history here and I really like that.
Q: Why did you choose to come to BC?
A: It was kind of a weird process. You send out a letter to a bunch of different compliance offices giving them permission to contact you. Coach Addazio gave me a call. I was choosing between Colorado State Fort Collins, and here. I came up here, it was an ACC school in a big conference with big time football, which is what I wanted. It was also a Catholic school and I hadn’t been to Catholic school since the third grade, so I was excited to get back to that. I had just started to get back into my faith a year before that, so it was something that was important to me. It seemed like there were a lot of guys that really love each other and loved football and I really liked that.
Q: Can you talk about how your faith has played into your football career?
A: I have a very good relationship with my priest back home. He actually came up for the Clemson game. For me, I think you have to have a sense of peace and a sense of trust in what the Lord has planned for you. No matter what it is, whether you go out and throw five picks or 5 touchdowns, it’s all part of the plan. Every day, if you wake up and say, ‘I’m going to do all that I can,’ (it’s Thomas Burns’ prayer; I don’t have it memorized, but I try to say it as much as I can), it’s just trusting the fact that in everything you’re doing, you’re trying to please God. If you can go to sleep at night saying everything was done with that desire, He will lead you down the right path.
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge Catholics face both in college and in college athletics?
A: I think everywhere it’s the world and the pleasures of this world that everybody tells us that we are supposed to be attracted to. Everyone has their own vices, but it’s all about recognizing what is true and what I know to be true, what am I going to hang my hat on, what am I going to place value on. Do I place value in how I play? Of course. It is important to me and I don’t think God is telling me football should not be important to me. He gave me the ability to play so I think it’s my responsibility to play as well as I can. I think, and I disagree with this, a lot of people say God is a big part of their lives, but that sells Him short. I think God is not just a part of their lives but is a part of everything. Everything you do, He’s there somewhere.
Q: What plans do you have for the future after the season and after BC?
A: Hopefully I’ll go play in the NFL. I’ll be done in December and I’ll sign with an agent and go train for the draft. I’ll exhaust the football thing as much as possible, but that being said, as a Catholic man you’re supposed to discern as much as possible. I’m still discerning all vocations. If God tells me tomorrow that I’m meant to be a priest, I’m definitely still open to that. I’m just not ready yet and am still waiting to see what God has planned for me.