Growing up in a small town like Perry, FL definitely has its pros and cons. There wasn’t a lot to do there besides ride four wheelers and play in the mud but I really feel like it shaped me into who I am today. It was definitely humbling starting from the bottom in a little town and working my way up all the way through the ranks. It feels good to be able to give my hometown something to cheer for every day and that is one of the main things that drives me.
Whenever I go home and meet young fans or young football players my message is always the same. Just because you grow up in a small town, doesn’t mean you can’t reach a big stage. I’m honored to be a role model for these kids and I plan on continuing to be someone that they can look up to for the rest of my career. Whenever I go back home I get that warm feeling inside that can’t be faked. I know that if all else fails whether it be my career or something else, my hometown will always have my back.
This past offseason I spent a few days back in Perry and seeing everyone so excited was awesome. I even got to have my jersey retired at my high school, hosted a cookout and had a parade in my honor. It made me reminisce about my younger days and I’ll never forget how bad I wanted to make it big. It’s a very surreal feeling thinking how far I have come. It’s experiences like this are something that I’ll never forget and I can’t thank my hometown enough for embracing and supporting me.
I’ve had ups and downs throughout my career but I feel like my success thus far really shows that if you want to get somewhere in life you have to be able to overcome the tougher parts of life and that can be the difference between achieving your goals and not. As long as you never stop working or won’t ever lose.