How did you handle being released by Tennessee?
I got drafted there. I don’t want to say I wasn’t hurt or I wasn’t sad, but it wasn’t emotional. I don’t know what I felt, but it wasn’t like one of those down emotions. But you know, one door closes, another door opens. I understood that I couldn’t hang my head or pout. I knew another chapter was going to happen for me.
And it did. Was it enticing to play again with Logan Ryan and across the field from James Bradberry?
Definitely, man. The first time I saw James play was my rookie season, when Carolina came down and practiced, and he was just crazy out there. Now, to be able to play with him — why not try to learn everything I can from him? We’re always competing. If he forces a fumble, then I’ve got to force two. If he’s making plays, then, all right, I’ve got to make some, too.
As a former long jumper at Southern California who also competed in the 2016 Olympic trials, did you pay attention to the event in Tokyo?
I didn’t see the long jump, but I actually looked up the results and was like, ‘Damn, I could do that at one point in time.’ It’s like when I watch basketball, which I used to play a lot. It’s like, ‘Oh, I would have done this, I would have done that.’ But I’m not even out there anymore.
Your personal best was a little bit less than 26 feet. That would have put you 10th in Tokyo.
That’s crazy. I didn’t even look at it like that. But like, there’s a lot of wear and tear. Not only do you go one day and jump, you come back another day. When I went to the finals at trials — I’m not going to lie, it was cool, but I had nothing left. I couldn’t pop another big jump the next day because I was all out of gas. My legs didn’t have the muscle memory to keep doing it. But it was fun.