Saturday Night Light

Photo: Jake Chessum

When I tell people I play football for Fordham, maybe it’s my accent, but they hear “Florida.” And it was very different to go from El Paso—where people live, eat, sleep, and breathe Friday Night Lights—to the Bronx, where football is more an afterthought to basketball. But you can feel football at Fordham. We have a hallway that’s nothing but Vince Lombardi, so it’s sort of like going to Michael Jordan’s high school.

When the first scout came this fall, it was a big deal. I could feel his eyes on me. I was nervous and had a bad day—balls everywhere. Now it’s better; someone will say, “The Giants were here today,” and it’ll be like, “Oh? I didn’t notice.”

The agent situation is weird, too. One guy’s presentation was all about money. Some play the star cards of guys they rep in the NFL. There’s a lot of razzle-dazzle.

It’s strange when so much of the attention is on me. Some teammates call me “Johnny Franchise.” But it’s all in good fun. Scouts notice everyone. I guess it is a little bit of a big fish in a small pond, but the pond has been getting bigger while I’ve been here. We didn’t have any scouts visiting when I was a freshman.

Fordham’s homecoming game against Old Dominion is this Saturday, October 3.

As told to Richard Morgan.

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Saturday Night Light