Did you enjoy it at such an early age?
"I loved it from the start. Football is a great game. It's a good way for a kid to learn a lot and to channel some aggressiveness."
Did you have any role models during your early years?
"Definitely my older brother, Eric. He was the first member of our family to go to college. He was always there for me. He kept me motivated to do my best and to stay on the straight and narrow. That's such an important lesson for any kid."
What does your family think now that you are with the Bears?
"They're thrilled. This is a very big deal. I can't wait to get back home and to tell them what I'm doing and what the NFL is really like."
Has pro football been what you've expected so far?
"Pretty much. I've always been conscientious about working out off-season. That certainly helps at this level. Of course, the intensity of the workouts has changed now. Everything is just a little bit harder. That's as it should be."
What about training camp? What exactly are you hoping to accomplish during the 3 weeks in Bourbonnais?
"Clearly, I have a lot to learn about the system. That's a time consuming process. There are big playbooks. It's really important to know exactly what's in them before starting to play in a game. "
Is this really so different from college ball?
"It's incredibly different from college football. Of course, the fundamentals never change. There are certain things that you have to know how to do at my position. You need to watch the offense. You must go after the ball. That's all the same. But in the NFL there is a completely new system. It's unfamiliar if you've just come out of college. Everything happens real fast, and you'd better be ready for whatever comes your way. It's a matter of constant study."
Any thoughts on Chicago winters?
"You do what you have to do. It'll be different from Louisiana, that's for sure, but that's just part of this job. I love Chicago and I am very happy to be with the Bears. I'll just wait and see what happens. When cold weather comes, I'll handle it. I always go with the flow."
What do you do now in your spare time?
"What spare time? We have workouts and book time. Plus, I'm getting married soon. There aren't many days when I can say that I have nothing to do."
How does it feel to finally be in the NFL?
"Completely exciting this is something that I've really worked for. This is my chance and I'm going to take it. I feel that if I put in the effort, I'll see good results. Who could ask for more than that?"