The coaches told me only that I have the same opportunity that any other fullback does here. I have the chance to compete for a starting spot on the team. I've just been listening closely to the coaches, learning the system and trying to get everything down as quick as possible. That way once it comes time to perform, I'll already know everything I need to know to perform.
I'm coming into this situation pretty comfortable, because I've talked to all the coaches and everybody. But I know that I still have to perform and produce. Better players than me have been replaced.
Catching the football is definitely one of my strong points. Catching the ball is something that I've done all my life. I've caught balls out of the backfield, and that's been one of my main special points. But I know on this level, you have to do much more than just catch the ball. You have to block and be able to be in the right place at the right time.
Blocking for me is the same type of feeling and spirit as a tailback getting the ball. Being a fullback puts you in the frame of mind to go block. A tailback loves to get the ball; I love to block. I love the contact. In order to play football, you have to love contact. You can't be a finesse blocker. When you play football, most of the time you're getting hit. I want to be one of the guys that deliver the hits. I've always liked to do that. From the fullback position, you know you're going to get hit so it's great to be able to step forward and give the initial contact.
That's one of the things that I've always liked to do. It feels good to get out there and get a good hit and see the tailback go for 30 yards. You see him downfield and know that you opened that hole up for him. Then when he gives you the respect for opening up the holes, it makes you feel even better.
I'm a hungry guy, but at the same time, I'm greedy. From a competitive standpoint, I've always been willing and able to fight for everything I get. In this game, you can't miss one step or you'll fall behind. You have to keep going forward. Every day you have to think football. My old college coach told me that every day you should do something to get better in football. You get better or you get worse, so I'm always working to get better.
Stay tuned for Part II ...