Athletes don't just wake up one day and decide they want to play in the NFL; it takes time and tools to develop the skills for success. It's the same way in any walk of life, and Lowe's through its Track to the Trades program aims to equip its employees with the ability to turn pro in the fields of construction and contracting through educational opportunities. Hopefully they, like the Panthers rookies, will thrive.
How have the rookie responsibilities been going?
We buy the snacks, carry shoulder pads. Stuff like that. We have it pretty light right now. We just do what we gotta do to get in.
Do you feel like being a rookie is similar to being a freshman in college?
It's going good. I don't feel like a freshman. I dealt with that at minicamp and OTAs. That's when I felt like a freshman. Now I feel like I've got it. I've just gotta master it.
Could you imagine being in this position when you were starting off at Georgia Military College? Or at South Carolina?
Looking back, when I was a Blazer, I never pictured being in this position. I played football for fun in high school. I was pretty much told to play it because I was too big. So I went out there and played for fun and it paid off. I'm glad I chose to play football.
Has it been cool to be playing close to your South Carolina home?
Being close to home really doesn't matter to me. I don't mind going far away from home. Because when I was at South Carolina, my mom lived like 35 minutes away and I never went home unless I had to. I kind of know how to stay away from home. But I am glad that this team chose to pick me, because it worked out in my favor.
How did your experience at South Carolina prepare you for this level of football?
I had a great offensive line coach. He was on this level. He showed me the ropes. He coached us hard. We played against good competition every week. Everybody on this level is pretty much good. Taking that aspect from college and bringing it here has worked out well.
What do you have to do to compete for a roster spot?
Stay consistent. That's the best thing for me right now is to stay consistent.