CORAL GABLES, Fla.--There are moments and decisions in every person's life that shape who they eventually become. Every path is different, but for these student-athletes, they have all eventually led to Coral Gables. Their stories in their words...
Allen Hurns | Wide Receiver | Sophomore | Miami, Fla.
There was never a time I didn't want to go to practice football. I ran track and field in high school my 10th and 11th grade years, but my heart was always in football. Just football. My uncle played for New Orleans, and he was a coach at Miramar. I was playing when I was almost five, and since then, I always played quarterback until the 11th grade when I started playing receiver.
Everybody knows Carol City has a good football history, but it's been tough recently. When I was there my 9th and 10th grade year, we only won three or four games each year. Junior year, we won eight games, and my senior season, the second game of the year I hurt my knee and didn't really play. It was depressing, because at first I thought I would lose my scholarship. Some of the schools stayed with me, some took them away. I finished up school strong, graduated early, and enrolled in the spring. It taught me a lot of things and I met a lot of people.
Competition is one of the reasons I came here. I always loved the school growing up, but some people doubted me coming here because I they had so many receivers. I always loved to compete, I felt like anywhere you go you'd have to compete. I love it, I compete in the weight room, on the field and in the classroom. I'm always competing.
Playing football has given me an open mind. I've been playing football since I was four, and I've always had a passion for the sport, I've never lost interest. I always wanted to make my mom and dad proud.
My jersey number is now No. 1. All my years playing football, except my 9th grade and freshman years, I wore and loved No. 1. My uncle wore it. I asked Coach Golden if I could have the number, but I told him he didn't have to give me it, that I'd work for it. He gave it to me, and I know I'm going to make him proud.
The best catch was my freshman year at the Spring Game. It was fourth down on a two-minute drive near the 20-yard line. I made a first-down catch that put us in position to make the game-winning field goal.
The best receivers are Andre Johnson and Chad Johnson. They are my favorites. I like the way Chad plays, he's fun. I watch a lot of film; Coach McDonald has film on everybody.
When I was six years old, I won my first Super Bowl championship in pop warner, and I was proud. I got to play at the Orange Bowl, and I won MVP. It was a great feeling.
Sophomore year I plan on doing big things on the field. Last year, I played, but it wasn't major, just mostly special teams. This year I'm becoming a leader, and I'm not young anymore. I'm ready to step up and make big-time catches and big-time plays.
Coach Golden came in here and changed everything around. He's pushing us harder, and he wants us to do right. It's not hard, if you do what he asks, he puts you in the best position to succeed.
I knew the U was where I wanted to be, watching the games on television. When I played at the Orange Bowl it was big, because watching them play, I wanted to be here. I love it.
Coach McDonald is a funny guy. Real funny. He teaches us a lot of things, and is a great teacher. He's on top of us with everything that we do. He shows us a lot of film. Anything we need, he's there. He makes everything fun.
My family is very supportive. My mom and dad come down at least once a week. My mom always brings me snacks, washes my clothes and all that (laughs). I have one older brother and he comes to the games as well.
We are all in this together. Everyone pushes everyone else. There's no turning back now.
I was raised to always respect an adult, no matter what. My mom told me you have to show respect, because you wouldn't want anyone to disrespect your mother or your parents.
Former Hurricanes who currently play in the NFL are always around. Everyday I walk into the weight room, I see at least 10 NFL players working out. On the field, they do the same work-outs we do. It's always nice to see people that have accomplished so much come back and show love. It's nice. At first, it's amazing seeing these NFL players. You see them, you smile, and you just watch. You think how much you wanted to meet him, and now he's right next to you. It's great having them around. All the NFL receivers come in and talk to our receivers as a group. I'm cool with all of them.
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