August 21, 2001 - by
The Chris Hope Diary – Biggest Influences In His Life

Aug. 21, 2001

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    All-America safety Chris Hope is only three classes shy of earning his degree in communications with a minor in sociology. He stopped by to conduct his Daily Drill with and spoke about the biggest influences in his life, his most prized possession, the thrill of playing in front of his family and what his plans after football might be.

    If You Could Go Back In History To Any Event What Would It Be?

    If I could go back to any event in history, I would like to have been at Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. I would like to have heard how energetic and influential his voice really was during that speech. In addition, I would have liked to study the impact he had on people. As a football player, I have an impact on people whether they are my teammates, members of my family or people I come in contact with.

    If You Could Meet Any Person In History, Who Would It Be?

    If I could meet any person in history it would be my great grandmother. My favorite person in the world is my grandmother, so in order to have a special person like my grandmother, she must have been a wonderful person.

    Who Has Been The Biggest Influence On Your Life And Why?

    My grandmother has had the biggest impact on my life. I was named after her her name is Ms. Christine Wylie. When I get tired and feel like I don’t want to continue practicing or studying, I think about many of the things she has told me and how hard it was for her to survive when she was growing up. I think she did an amazing job raising my mother who had seven brothers and six sisters. She found a way for all of them to be successful when there really wasn’t a way. I think of things like that when I get tired and don’t want to push ahead in my studies or in a game.

    What Would You Consider To Be Your Most Prized Possession?

    My most prized possession is my ability to focus my thoughts, ideas and actions and stay disciplined in whatever I do. I have been very fortunate during my life and have been able to be successful both on and off the field. Because of that, a lot of people have looked up to me and given me a great deal of respect. As a kid, that can sometimes be overwhelming and force you to lose your focus. At times, you can develop a big head and think that you are better than everybody else. I think I have been able to keep my head on straight and that has helped me to be successful in many of the things I have attempted to do during my life.

    Who Is Going To Be The Toughest Player To Replace From Last Year’s Team?

    I think the most obvious answer to that question is Chris Weinke. The leadership skills that he had were incredible. Being the quarterback, team leader and most experienced player in the team and being that he had the ball in his hands most of the time, I feel that he will be the hardest player to replace. With a quarterback like Weinke, you were always in every game and you were never out of a game. I think that would be the hardest person to replace although we lost a number of players who helped make us a great team least season. We lost a lot of important players in the defense who helped us win many games during their careers. If your opponent can’t score, they can’t win. We lost a lot of key players on defense, so it’s going to be hard to replace them. But overall, the toughest player to replace is Chris Weinke.

    Who Has Emerged As The Biggest Surprise During Practice Thus Far?

    Being that I go against the offense in practice every day, I think the player who sticks out in my mind is Adrian McPherson. He is small and young but has stepped into a position where it looked like he wasn’t going to play a great deal to where he is going to help us win games this season. Since Robert Morgan and Anquan Boldin went down he has kept a level head and continued to work hard. He has impressed me with his arm strength and his poise. He continues to make plays and has displayed his knowledge of the game to not force passes when he doesn’t have an open receiver. He has been very impressive.

    What Impact Has New Strength And Conditioning Coach John Jost Had On You Since His Arrival?

    The biggest impact John Jost and the strength and conditioning staff has had on me is my improved explosion. In high school I did not concentrate on squats or working with heavy leg weights because they can hurt your back. Personally, I have been able to be successful on the strength that I was able to attain naturally. This summer I worked extremely hard on hang cleans, power cleans and squats that helped me increase my quickness and explosiveness.

    If You Weren’t Playing College Football And Preparing For A Career In Professional Football, What Career Would You Be Preparing For?

    The career that I always liked and thought about when I was growing up was that of an engineer or an architect. I was going to major in engineering or architecture coming out of high school but I didn’t feel I would have had enough time to be successful with my studies and on the football field if I had selected those subjects as a major. If I weren’t playing football, I would probably be well on my way to being an engineer or an architect.

    What Do You Want To Do With Your Degree In Communications After Your Playing Days Are Through?

    I am on track to receive my degree in communication and after I finish my playing career, I would like to go into broadcasting or possibly open a public relations firm.

    How Often Does Your Family Get To See You Play?

    My family has always been very supportive of me and has always taken a tremendous interest in my football career. Luckily, Florida State is only about six hours from my hometown of Rock Hill, S.C. so somebody from my family is always in the stadium to see me play. I don’t think that a member of my immediate family or my close friends have ever missed a game that I have played since I have been at Florida State. That has been a positive during my entire career.

    How Much Of A Thrill Is It To Play At Clemson In Your Home State?

    Playing at Clemson is a big thrill for me because I get to play in front of my home crowd. I have good memories also, because I also played a state high school championship game on that field. I always have fond memories of playing in Death Valley because it is so close to my home. In addition, I always get a lot of tickets for the members of my family including my grandfather who doesn’t like to travel too much. When we played there in 1999 I had to get nearly 30 tickets for my family and friends. Because this is my last year, I am probably going to have to get 60 or more tickets for this year’s game.

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