My time at FSU is over, but, man, I had a blast. All three years I spent at FSU, I enjoyed – especially the bonds and relationships that I built in the locker room.
Coming in, when you’re a younger guy, you never really know what to expect. Especially me, leaving my home in Miami. But I can say that coming to Tallahassee was one of the best decisions I have ever made. And being coached by Coach Graham and Coach Jimbo, and being around some of the teammates that I have been around, I feel like I have grown a lot on and off the field.
One of my favorite memories is that first time that I ran through the tunnel at Doak Campbell Stadium. It was The Citadel game in 2014.
Coming out of that tunnel, I was nervous. Before the game, Coach Fisher said I was going to get a lot of playing time. So there were a lot of emotions going through me. Running out of the tunnel, hearing the fans go wild, and watching Osceola and Renegade plant the spear was incredible. There’s not a better atmosphere in the country and it always kept me excited for game time. I got my first carry that game and I scored my first touchdown, so the Citadel game is a game that I’m going to remember.
As I prepare to move on to the next level, I want to be sure to thank the people around Florida State and in Tallahassee who helped me get to where I am now:
To Coach Fisher: We have a father-son relationship, a brother relationship, a friend relationship. My freshman year, it was real tough because I was just a player relying on my talent. But you taught me to match hard work with talent. A lot of things you would say would kind of tick a nerve, but it made me think to myself, “I don’t ever want to hear him say that again, so I’m going to do everything right.”
You pushed me and got my best out of me.
To Coach Graham: You don’t get the credit you deserve. You’re kind of the man behind the scenes, getting the job done. You definitely helped me grow as a man, and with the things I was doing on the field. You pushed me to create good habits. You’re a father figure to me, and I look forward to texting and talking with you as I take these next steps. I know you’ll help me make sure I’m always on the same mission that I was on in Tallahassee.
To the FSU academic support staff: Shanika, Toya, Ashton – all of you helped me stay grounded and helped me to be in the situation I’m in now to help my family be in a better place. Thank you for pushing me and helping me become all I can be off the field. Coach Fisher took care of me on the field, and you helped me off the field.
To the strength and conditioning staff: Coach Vic, “Red,” Hocke, Lou and Brice, all of you pushed me to be that leader in the weight room, to set that example to the younger guys so that when they come in, they know what hard work looks like. Thank you for pushing me and giving me an opportunity to set that standard in the weight room.
To the sports medicine staff and trainers: Jake, Julie, Jeronimo and Jerry – you kept me healthy. My sophomore year was one of the toughest years for me. I had a hamstring injury, an ankle injury and a shoulder injury, and you never gave up on me. You always had faith in me and kept me level-headed. There were some days when I was like, “Man, why does this stuff keep happening to me?” But you kept my spirits up.
To the younger players at FSU: Trust the process. Buy in to what the coaches say, because they’ll never steer you the wrong way. You’re both in it for the same thing, that’s to win football games and get better. When I got to Florida State, I had to sit back and watch some tape on Devonta Freeman to see how he did things. Telvin Smith, even though he played a different position, Lamarcus Joyner, I just saw the way they played the game and the way they approached practice. Take the coaching. That’s the only tip you need.
Finally, to the fans: I said earlier that coming to Florida State was one of the best decisions I ever made, and you proved it. You’re the best fans in America. Years from now, when you think about me, I hope you think about a guy that left a legacy on the program at Florida State. When you pull up my film, or look at the off-the-field things I did, I hope you see a well-grounded guy. A “team” guy that loved the fans, that loved to play in Doak and just wanted to give you all a show.
I hope you think of me in a positive way. I hope I left my stamp on the program. And I hope that you remember me forever.
Forever a Nole,