I was raised in Compton, California. There was a lot of temptation in the city. But I was never a thug, was never a gangbanger, never portrayed that to the public. I knew that I wanted to be a ballplayer, and here I am, living out my dreams.
My mom thought it would be the best choice for me to move to Long Beach with my grandma for high school. I really didn't have any self control. I wasn't taking care of my schoolwork. I wanted to mac at the honeys instead of doing my schoolwork. She ended up putting me back into a private school from the seventh grade through high school.
I had a lot of family support. My daddy helped. My momma helped. My grandmother helped. Money wasn't really an issue, because they knew that it was in my best interest to go there. They never complained about it. Of course, it hurt their pockets – extremely. But it was worth it.
I don't go around bragging about being from Compton. It's nothing to brag about being from that part of town, that's for sure. But I am proud of living there. It's taught me how to handle adversity. A lot of people don't go through a lot at a young age.
One of my next-door neighbors, a good buddy mine, got caught up into some stuff and he's been in jail since we were 14-years old. That was one of my best friends. I've got a ton of buddies that are locked up and cousins that are locked up. Statistics tell me that I'm not supposed to be here.
Every day, I go out there knowing that I've got people to represent – and not only them, but myself also. It's a passion that I've always had. Once you have your mind made up – 'this is what I want to do and this is how I plan to do it' – you're pretty much unstoppable.
My pro day finally is coming up Wednesday. I've been going over the script with some of my receivers and my backs, and my private coach, Steve Calhoun, will be running it. We ran an NFL-type scheme, so I'm going to show all the deep digs and posts and timing routes to show some of my accuracy and incorporate all of that stuff we were doing during my time at UW.
I'm probably going to do close to 60 throws. It's a lot, but it's got to be done. I'll be throwing to Kevin Smith, James Johnson, Jonathan Amosa, Antavius Sims and of course Bishop Sankey, who I think is going to be an awesome player. We're excited, man. It's a time where guys get to showcase their talents and what we've been working on the past three months or so.
My dad is currently unemployed, and my mom is a mail carrier. I have a little brother who just turned 18 in March and a little sister that turned 13 in June. My brother, Kaelon, played ball in high school, but he needs to pull his grades up, so he'll probably do some time at a JC and then transfer.
My grandmother is in Long Beach still. I just got off the phone with her earlier. She's so excited. She's probably my number one fan. She wants to take every picture. She comes to every game. She's been a supporter of me from day one. She's invested a lot of money in me – money that she didn't have – and she sacrificed it for me.
I've definitely got a lot of people counting on me. But it's easy when you're so motivated.