Oct. 29, 2013
Why did you choose Alabama?
I had a lot of schools to choose from being the top triple jumper in the nation. I chose Alabama because (assistant) coach (Dick) Booth is one of the best triple jump coaches and because the Alabama track team isn't known nationally yet. I wanted to be a part of a team on the rise and help us win the first national championship.
How did your family react to your college decision?
They wanted me to stay in Florida. They didn't want me to be far away, but at the end of the day, it was my decision. I feel like I made the right decision.
When did you begin competing and why?
Most of my life, track wasn't a big deal to me. Football was my main priority all the way up to my senior year. Earning a full scholarship for track was a last-minute deal. I started running track my freshman year but wasn't very good at it. I thought I was a sprinter, but then I started picking up the triple jump at the end of my freshman year.
When did you realize you could compete at the Division 1 level?
When I first jumped 50 feet in my junior year, I was the first person in Tampa/Hillsborough County to ever do that. That's when I realized I could go Division 1 for track and field, but football was still my main priority. A coach sat me down during my senior year and explained that I had too much potential in track to not focus on it.
What goals do you have for this season?
Personally, I never set goals because you'll be disappointed if you don't reach your goals. All I can do is go out and give it my best in every track meet. As long as I know I did that, I can live with myself.
What is one weakness that you'd like to improve moving forward?
My technique. In high school, I thought my technique was great, but now that I'm here, I realized my technique is not very good. Improving my technique and getting stronger are the two things I need to work on.
Have you decided on a major?
I'm undecided right now.
Is there any other athlete, either professional or collegiate, that inspires you?
Floyd Mayweather, the professional boxer. I've been looking up to him since I was young. He is undefeated. He is the best boxer. A lot of people don't like him because he's cocky, but he backs it up.
Aside from track, what is your favorite sport?
Football. It's hard to go to the (Alabama) games without wishing I was playing.
Athletes have strict diet regimens, but if there is one food you cannot live without, what is it?
Wings. Hot wings. I know I'm supposed to eat healthy, but I'll eat hot wings from anywhere.
What's on your iPod right now?
"Hurt No More" by Rich Homie Quan