Q&A With Vernon Carey

Even before finishing high school, Vernon Carey would hear it all the time. Carey was the ‘can't miss' kid who was going to become a star. His coaches would tell him. His teammates would tell him. His family would tell him. And Carey didn't know any better so he embraced all the kind words to the point that they almost drove him out of football.

But three years after arriving at the University of Miami as a first-team All-American and one of the top recruits in the nation, Carey is finally delivering on that potential. The 6-5, 340-pounder offensive lineman has started all six games this season for the Hurricanes.

Carey recently sat down with CanesTime.

There is always pressure that comes with playing at the University of Miami. But being one of the most sought after players coming out of high school that was expected to star right away had to be tough.

You know, I don't think that stuff really affected me at all. It was just a matter of being able to just to college football. Just because you're the top dog in high school doesn't mean anything once you get here. The players are bigger and faster. That was quite an adjustment for me.

What were some of those adjustments?

Learning the playbook and the blocking schemes were obviously different. I knew it was going to be different. But man practicing with these guys everyday was a grind. I would end up exhausted.

Many of the fans, as well as the media, gave you a difficult time about your playing weight early on at UM. You've never talked much about it, but it had to be difficult.

I know I've had some issues in the past trying to get my weight down. But it's not like I totally ignored the situation, you know what I'm saying. I wanted so bad to help this team win and wasn't going to blow it all away. I rededicated myself to the game.

There was speculation that your weight had ballooned to over 380 after your freshman season. What were you eating, man?

Oh, just a combination of things. There were a lot of trips to McDonald's and Denny's. I've always been a big guy and loved to eat. But I knew that my diet had to change if I was going to make an impact on the football field.

What's different about you're diet now?

No more trips to McDonald's or Denny's. I try not to eat late and if I do I snack on some light stuff.

What do you weigh now?

I'm around 340-345.

Do you feel vindicated at all after having people lose trust in you?

Not at all man. Like I said before I just try to do out there and play football. I don't worry about that stuff.

Had to be fun playing with Bryant McKinnie, Joaquin Gonzalez and Martin Bibla?

That was great man. Just to know going into games that we were going to dominate was an incredible feeling. I learned a lot being around those guys.

You were limited as a freshman, but played a lot more last year. Not bad being part of a national championship team, right?

Anybody that competes at a high level should be able to experience that feeling. You're No. 1 and there is nobody better than you. That's special.

Talk about your performance this year

I'm pleased. You can always get better no matter what, but we're moving in the right direction as a unit and that's the only thing that matters.

Did doubt ever enter your mind?

Not at all. I just knew I had to work a little harder.

Do you see the NFL in Vernon Carey's future?

I wouldn't be saying the truth if I said I didn't. Every player wants to compete at the highest level and it doesn't get any bigger than that. I'd love to play in the NFL one day.

What are some of the things you are still learning?

I really can't point one thing out. I just need to play under control and show patience out there. Sometimes if things aren't working out I tend to lose focus. I have to stay with it.

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