"It means a lot. It's like a relief to me to know that I'm the first freshman to get my stripe off my helmet. It helps me out a lot to know that I've been working real hard and trying to stay focused to get this thing going."
Take us back to that hit the other day on Chris Rainey. Did you jaw him a little and get him back for the state championships?
"Nah, I didn't say anything like that. Now we're a team. High school is over and it's a team effort now. I just ended up pursuing the ball, staying low and driving my hips."
Was he [Rainey] made fun of in the locker room?
"Yeah, he definitely was. He was made fun of. They showed the film back and forth."
So what did the coaches say in the destriping ceremony?
"It's like a big brother and little brother thing and I'm the little brother of Dorian Munroe. He had the honor of taking the stripe off my helmet.
So what do you think about the competition for these jobs? Did you guys come in to camp knowing that any of you guys can play and that free safety spot is kind of up in the air? Does that motivate you?
"It definitely motivates me to know that I can in here and make progress on the field and play hard. But I know that it takes hard work to play for the Gators."
So when you guys hear these things and see on TV about two defensive starters returning, do you guys take that as a challenge as a unit to what you guys can do? Do you feel slighted, underestimated?
"We definitely feel underestimated. That's what makes us go out and work hard in practice. Every play we're out there and we run to the ball no matter what. We know we lost all those defensive players. They're gone and now we have to come up and step up."
When you guys showed up here, how much did the coaches talk to you about staying out of trouble?
"No, I think he [Urban Meyer] trusts us enough to not go out there and put ourselves in a bad situation. And know how to keep ourselves out of trouble and keep ourselves occupied doing work, going over plays and not going to the club every weekend."
What kind of influence has Cris Carter been on you as a player and a person?
"He's definitely had a big influence on me. Him being a receiver and my coach, he helps me out with receiver routes that they're going to run and how to cover them. He helps me out a whole lot, on and off the field, and gives me things in my mind to motivate me."