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...
Anthony Chickillo | Defensive Line | Freshman | Tampa, Fla.
I'm a Hurricane because this is where I'm supposed to be. This is my dream school. I've always wanted to come here since I was a little kid.
My favorite song right now is "How to Love" by Lil Wayne.
My favorite midnight snack is cereal. Probably Honey Bunches of Oats with whole milk.
My favorite thing about being part of the U Family is how close everyone is to each other. Me personally, I can see it because my dad is friends with not only people on his team, but all the people before him. All the years that come, everybody is so close. There isn't another team in college football like that.
At the U, I've learned so much from the teams in the past. From the players and the stories that I've heard, I've learned what to do and what not to do by listening to the coaches and listening to my teammates.
Transitioning has been good for me. I've obviously been real excited for a long time to come here. I'm just taking everyday in stride. Waking up as early as we do has been a big transition, but other than that, the workouts, I do all that kind of stuff at home. School is school, you just have to make sure you study. Overall I think it's been a good transition so far.
Other than football, I'm talented at basketball. I like to play all sports.
The song no one would believe I have on my iPod is "Eye of the Tiger" from Rocky. It's a good song, I like it a lot.
No one can believe I had a 4.5 grade point average coming out of high school. A lot of people don't believe I got a 25 on my ACT. But I did.
People might be surprised to know that I'm a mama's boy. People look at me and might not think I am, but I am. I'm the youngest. I've got two sisters and two nieces.
If I could spend the day with anyone, it would be my grandfather. He died when I was six or seven years old. I really don't have that many memories of him, but I would love to talk to him about his experience here at Miami and to see what it was like when he was here. (Eds. Note: Anthony took his photograph at the UM Hall of Fame in front of the case that holds memorabilia from his grandfather's career at Miami).
It's hard for me to explain, but to me, the reason I love Miami so much is because my dad took me to all the games when I was younger, and I fell in love with the program. I knew when I was six years old that I wanted to come here. When I started becoming a recruit, that's when everyone started talking about being a third-generation Cane. This is my school I chose to play for. This is where I want to succeed and build my future.
The best advice I've ever been given was by my dad when he dropped me off here. He said, "Be humble and don't stumble." I have to stay on track and be humble about it.
When I played football as a kid, I pretended to be Willis McGahee. I used to be #2 and I wanted to be a running back. I obviously grew out of that (laughs). I thought I was like Willis back then, remembering how good he was here. I've never said anything to him, but it is pretty cool seeing all the former players that I grew up watching. Andre Johnson, Jonathan Vilma, all those guys, it's cool to see them. When you're working out and they're right there next to you doing the same thing, no other school in the country has that. That's another reason why people come here, because everyone has such a close bond. They're out there, they talk to us, and they act like they're part of the team, because they are, we're part of one big team.
I started playing football when I was six years old. I played running back and linebacker all the way until freshman year of high school, when I switched to the line. My sophomore year was my first year playing defensive end.
When I was a sophomore, I was about 6-1 or 6-2. I had a big frame on me. I was probably 180 pounds or so, but they knew I was going to grow, and we didn't have a lot of big people on our team, so they put me at defensive end. When I was at that age, everyone was still bigger than me. I became good at the position because I had to keep the big men off of me. That's how I started playing defensive end.
In little league, my dad always said he knew I was going to play defensive line. He was my coach growing up, and he always used to blitz me. I would never blitz standing up; I always had my hand down on the line. He says he always knew that I was a natural defensive lineman. I feel like I'm quicker coming off the line.
When I was six years old, I wanted to be a Hurricane. My whole room growing up was all orange and green. I have autographs from former Canes and everything. When I was six years old, I wanted to be a Hurricane. That was my dream.
I was raised to dislike the Gators. That's how I was raised. When I was being recruited, I went on a trip to Florida. My dad came and was acting funny. He definitely wasn't acting normal. My dad's last game in college was played at Florida, when James Jones made that catch for Florida, but wasn't actually in bounds. It was my dad's first time coming back. The first person we saw when we got there was James Jones. My dad started chasing after him, and I didn't know what he was doing. He and James were friends though, because James' son played at a high school down the street. James told my dad that he'd admit he was out of bounds if my dad sent his son to Florida (laughs). My family has a lot of experience playing at the Swamp. My grandpa didn't like the Gators, and I was raised to not like the Gators.
Coach Franklin is a phenomenal football coach. When my family and I took our visit, we sat in a meeting with him and he was already drawing stuff up on the whiteboard. He's unbelievable, he knows his stuff. My dad said when I came here, "No one in America could coach you better than Coach Franklin." Coach Franklin is going to be a big boost for this program; he's going to do great things for this defensive line. I'm ready to go.
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