Football is more than a sport.
People tell me that all the time, but it's more than that, and for me and others as well too, football is such a huge part of my life that it became my ''get away key" from many things. Whenever I'm not playing it, I am constantly thinking of ways to upgrade or become a better player.
OVERSEAS LIFEA lot of people don't know that I didn't do my college pro day or wasn't focusing on the NFL, but I did have the opportunity to go to CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos when coach Chris Jones was with the team (didn't go because I went to Poland). I decided to take a different route and come overseas to see the truth about everything, and even though it is not the NFL with the millions of dollars, I am still living my dream and helping others understand the game and playing to their full potential.
OVERSEAS JOURNEYMy journey overseas has been amazing, I was in Sopot, Poland from March-August in 2015, playing for the Sopot Seahawks (national finalists with a 9-1 record). After that season, from August-December, I went to Manila, Philippines to play for Manila Wolves (7-0 record and I won Super Bowl MVP while helping the Wolves defend the title). After that I came to Kragujevac, Serbia in February-July 2016, to play for Kragujevac Wild Noars (Serbian Bowl champs with a 8-1 record). Now, I am in Leme, Brazil - from September-December, playing for Empreyo Leme Lizards.
My records speak for itself, I'm not an import that worries about my resume, I am an import that want to spread the love and of course win championships.
OVERSEAS LIFESTYLEI love the overseas lifestyle more than I love the American lifestyle to be honest, but don't get me wrong, I love my country (USA). The only thing different about USA vs other countries are more opportunities and I think people overseas are way nicer and more lovable (that's my opinion). I am just not ready for a real job (besides helping the youth, training people, etc). I got these opportunities and I'm making the best of it. The love overseas is unreal especially for the youth. Everywhere I went (especially in Serbia) I had an amazing fan base football wise. I had kids approach me asking for autographs and pictures. Traveling the world and getting to experience things people always want to see is a blessing.
TEACHING THE BASIC AND EFFORTI grew up around football and it is in my blood line, so I try to teach the basics. I had to learn how to run in college (I know it sounds crazy, but I was just fast in high school and was just told to run and had an okay technique, but once I got to college it changed and it brought my 40 yard dash down to a 4.38).
I always remember my college coach saying technique and muscle membring, so it always stick with me until this day. As an import, I teach my WRs, RBs, and other skills players the basics on ways to catch the ball (turning your hands correctly), stem routes (setting DBs up), reading the defense (film studying so you can play fast), etc. Then, we always progress from there.
In Serbia, I probably had the best WR core I have been around since my college days. The guys would want to learn, the extra work, and ask for film study meets, and I think that is what makes a big difference, and that's why we were the best WR core in Serbia.
It is like in America, some don't want to put in the extra work because they are happy with where they are at. Never be satisfied with where you are at, always push yourself to be the best.
THE PRESSURE OF BEING AN IMPORTBeing a good/great person on and off the field will help you a lot, as well as for the team having the possibility of bring you back next year. Teams build a relationship and it is easy to have a relationship with someone that you already know, than to start with someone new.
Some teams overseas would base their plays around their imports or think that imports are supposed to win championships (which is true). For me, I think imports should make the team better and help others reach their full potential, as well as putting the team in the best position to win games/championships.
People have to understand that an American can come to a team and be an individual, but that's selfish to me (but some imports don't think like that). I always try to inform people that they have to understand that football is a team concept, you are as good as the players around you. I try to hit that everywhere I went. I shared the knowledge and the love that I was blessed with, because I don't believe in individuals. I believe in team work.
BE HUMBLEThe first thing I did once I got the chance to come overseas was make sure I gave back to the youth (I still do it up until this day). I made sure I interact with the youth on and off the field, because they are our future and having them look up to you and want to get to know more than just a football player is a great feeling to me.
An opportunity to come overseas to play a sport that you love is very rare, so when the opportunity come - please don't ask how much money etc. Most teams will give you more than arena teams make a game, or at least a good/great salary where it will be livable in their country. You have to understand on how many people wish they could be in your position to get paid for what they love to do and be a professional athlete, or, have the opportunity to still continue to play a sport they love, get paid, and travel the world.
Have a strong work ethic and be open minded to different situations. You have to be uncomfortable at some point in your life. You will adjust and learn how to do things different. Also don't be cocky about everything, it is a good thing to be confident, but nobody wants to be around or wants a cocky person around (it looks bad). Just remain humble, and most importantly, relax, have fun, make plays and be a playmaker, and, enjoy the moment!!!
SPECIAL THANKSFirst, I want to say thanks to the man upstairs for blessing me with the talent and ability for me to play the game. Secondly, I like to thank my mom for always supporting my decisions, even after I turn down my pro day for the NFL, my true friends/fans, and last but not least - Luke Zetazate/Gawin Campbell, Sopot Seahawks organization/team/Crossfit Trojmiasto (cf3m), Tom Torres/Ivan Klaric/Steven Smith/Dennis Graves, Manila Wolves organization/team, Nemanja Caki, Shane Wong, Wild Boars organization/team/trening centar Kragujevac, Josh Hepner, and Ilumi Materiais Eletricos, Bruno Pultz/Pultz family, Luis Melare, Jeron Jones, and the Empyreo Leme Lizards organization/team/Empyreo club, and Clincica 29 staff.