CORAL GABLES, Fla.--No dream comes true without sacrifice and these young men have worked to make their dream of playing at the U come true. Here are the men behind the sacrifice...
Olsen Pierre | Defensive End | Freshman | Rahway, N.J.
If I wasn't playing football, I would be a comedian. I don't do jokes though, I do impressions of people. I won the "funniest" award in high school. I could do voices and stuff, I used to get in trouble a lot. That's why I stopped. When I was younger, my teacher used to yell at me a lot. And I used to imitate her voice when her back was turned. She would turn around, and everybody would laugh. Ever since then, people say I'm pretty good at it.
When I was six years old, I used to get whoppings a lot because I was always in trouble. I was always outside.
Coach Franklin is intense. He's a demanding person, but it's all for the best.
Miami is the best place I've ever been. It was hot when I first got off the plane. Especially after being in Jersey, here the air is thick; it hit me when I got off the plane. I'm glad I came here though. On my visit here, I connected with all the guys on the team. All the guys were cool, it was fun, and that's why I decided on here. Other players from Jersey have come here, guys like Greg Olsen, I decided it would be a good fit for me. Other than the heat, I haven't had a hard time adjusting.
I think the Golden Era is going to be a good era. Coach Golden, when I first met him when he was recruiting me,had a vision of how he wanted the program to be, and I feel like everything is coming together. He' a demanding person too, but its all for the best.
Coach Golden told me he would have guys competing, he would test guys, he would make us tougher, and above all that, that he would look out for us. Everything he said has been coming to light.
Competition is everything around here. I know everybody competes for everything around here. With video games, girls, there's a lot of competition. If everybody's on the same level, the team drops. You look at someone like [Adewale] Ojomo, when we're running and he's going faster than me, I pick my speed up to compete. Competition makes you better.
I'm afraid of lions. I'm scared of animals in general. I don't watch Animal Planet, and when I do, I skip the channel. I remember after watching a show on anacondas when I was little, I ran into the backyard and saw a stick that I thought was a snake. I started yelling, "Mom, it's a snake, it's a snake!" and she dropped everything she was cooking. It ended up being a stick.
If I could wake up tomorrow anywhere in the world, I would wake up in a mansion in California. I've never been there.
Something I've never really understood is math. It's been that way ever since I was younger. If I found the person who invented math, I might hurt him. I hate math with a passion (laughs).
I love my family. They're always there for me. I love them. I have an older brother and two younger brothers. My older brother just had a baby, and he's a boy too. We used to fight for food a lot when we were younger, I'm glad I'm leaving because it gives her one less mouth to feed. I'm closest with my littlest brother, Marvin, he's 11 years old. He's just like me; I can see myself in him. He loves to laugh, have fun, and get in trouble. I tell him he can't do the stuff I did. Sometimes we just sit and talk, and I think to myself, why am I talking to him when he's only 11? But he sits and listens. He's probably the one I'm closest to.
Becoming a man you gotta learn how to live on your own, be strong. Coming to Miami, I lived far away, my mom said there will be nights when you want to come home, but you have to become a man and do what's right for your family and what's right for you. There were a lot of those nights when I first got here. I would call my mom and tell her I was homesick, but then I talked to all my brothers and I would feel like I'm okay.
My mom has never been to one of my football games, because she always thinks I'm going to get hurt. Every time after a game, she wouldn't let me tell her about it.
I want to be the best. I really want to be the best. When I first got here I didn't know what to expect. I want to leave a legacy that in my freshman year I worked hard, my sophomore year I worked hard, and my junior year I worked even harder. You never know, maybe I'll make it to the NFL. I want to go out as the best. When I see Andre Johnson, Ray Lewis, guys like that, it helps me think that if they can do it, I feel like I can do it. They went through everything we're going through. They started off slow and sophomore or junior year they did it with their program. They worked out with Coach Swasey, they listened to coaches and now they're making millions. I take what they're saying to heart. I study my playbook longer, I do extra pushups, and I follow the program.
Studying the playbook was like math. When they first gave us the playbook, it was huge. I said, "Coach we need to study this?" Coach Franklin said, "Yeah you have to study it, it's the playbook!" I still have school, and we have quizzes on the playbook. It was hard, but by the end of the Spring, I started picking up the plays. I know all my plays now, but at the beginning, it was like Chinese. It was crazy.
In high school, football was like a hobby, you just did it with your friends. I realized a few weeks ago that football is like a job now. When you get to college, it's your life. At first it was crazy. I had to wake up at five in the morning, to work out and eat breakfast, then go to class, then practice, and then tutoring. At night you had homework and then study the playbook. You end up going to sleep at like 10 or 11. Those were the nights I was calling home.
Best advice I ever received was from my high school coach. He used to say, "football's a team sport, but sometimes you have to be selfish."
At the line, I think first, don't get knocked on my back. Second, I think how big the lineman is. Third is getting to the running back, getting to the quarterback, getting to the ball. Fourth is making a big play. Fifth is getting a fumble, maybe knocking a pass down.
I used to live in Newark but I didn't play football there because it was too bad. Colleges and coaches wouldn't come to the games. In the fields you'd see chicken bones, clips from guns, stuff like that. Three years ago there was a shooting during a game in Newark. That's why I moved to Rahway.
My sophomore year of high school I played basketball. I played center and power forward. I stopped playing because I didn't like the coach; he was getting on my nerves. We play in the gym here too. They say New Jersey has some of the best ballers of anywhere. The first thing I picked up was a basketball when I was five or six years old.
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