Camp has been going pretty well for me. The transition to Seattle was pretty easy – I’ve been away from home for a while, so that wasn’t too tough. But I love Seattle so far. It’s a peaceful city. I live in solitude somewhat when I’m away from football to keep my mind clear and keep me out of trouble, so the transition wasn’t that hard. It was actually a pretty good one for me because this city is very compatible with my lifestyle.
On our off days I’ve been going out and trying to see the city of Seattle a little bit. I’m always in downtown Seattle offering people to come to lunch with me, or meet me out for walks, or something like that. I just like to hang out there, try and meet new people, let people see my face – I don’t want people to think I’m some distant figure. I’m somebody who’s out and involved with the fans and someone who really appreciates them and their support. So I try to get over to Seattle quite a bit to relax.
I’m a really big fan of the Seattle waterfront, the pier down there. I like parking and walking along down there. I’ll also drive around and just get lost in Seattle, take random turns, and just try to get out in some way, shape, or form.
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I did grow up singing in church, but my hidden musical talent is actually drumming. I was in the marching band up until my senior year of high school. I do enjoy singing, but mostly just when I’m in my car by myself – not singing in front of the whole Twitter world. That’s crazy.
When I was in the marching band in high school I could really care less about football. The high school football coach tried to get me every year, but I wouldn’t do it. I finally wanted to get a scholarship to college, so I went out my senior year. I was blessed physically and athletically – I did play basketball – so I finally played football my senior year and I got my scholarship to college. But I didn’t want anything to do with football. Drumming was my thing. I had been doing it since I was 10 years old, and I was good at it. I was more popular than the football players because of my drumming.
I was in a band outside of marching band called, ‘Drum Corps International.’ It’s basically marching percussion and you compete. The competition is based on the complexity of your piece, as well as your form, technique, keeping it tight with your sticks, stick height – six inches versus nine inches, everything. I did that type of competing outside of my regular marching band. That was my thing. I didn’t like football back then.
But once I started playing football – I can’t get away from this stuff. I’m having too much fun. It’s weird being on the NFL level now because of what my mindset toward football used to be. I tell people all the time this is surreal to me because I didn’t grow up as a kid wanting to be an NFL football player. So to be where I am now, and see all my friends who were All-American, not playing anymore – it’s surreal for me.
But my coaches know and everybody knows that I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t love it because it’s not what I’ve relied on my whole life. I could have other things that I could pursue and do, but I just love playing football right now and I’m just so excited. That’s why I’m here and that’s why it’s surreal for me. I never thought I’d be here. I initially just wanted to get a scholarship to college, but here I am now hoping to make a career and living off of football. It’s crazy.
My first game experience with the Seahawks was a lot of fun. When I got in some of the starters were still in for Tennessee, so that was a lot of fun to get the experience against starting NFL players. Just being in that environment was awesome – the 12th Man is everything I thought they’d be, and apparently they can bring a little bit more during the regular season. It was just a fun experience for me and I’m glad I got it under my belt. If I die today, or if something tragic were to happen to me today, nobody could ever take that away from me – that I made it to the NFL and played in an NFL game.
I still do some drumming on the side sometimes, not too much. Actually, what I was going to later today was send out a tweet trying to find a high school marching band that was practicing to just go to their practice. You can’t get it out of you. I was home training a while back and there was a high school a couple miles away, but I could hear the base and the pop of the snare and I said to myself, ‘Man, we’ve got to finish this work out. I’ve got to go find out where that is.’
I saw the Blue Thunder marching band that we have at our games and my thought was that I would try to connect with them at some point. Whenever I can, I’ll get on the drums. I can’t get away from it.
We had a family BBQ today with the Seahawks staff, players, and their families, but my family wasn’t out here – I didn’t want to go broke trying to fly them out. But for me, my family is the fans. So whatever I can find to go hang out with them, I do. People think I joke about that when I send out tweets asking them what’s going on, but I’m serious. If you’re having a BBQ or something today – invite me. I’ll show up. The 12th Man is my family.
I’ll try to go out and explore the city a little bit more. I made it through my first NFL training camp and it’s time to relax a little bit and clear my mind. Hopefully I can find a marching band somewhere out there.