David, thank you for coming out here for this interview.
Tell us about your decision to come to USC and what influenced it.
The big influence for me was my family. They were down in California. My brother went to Pomona Pitzer out in Claremont and my sister was in Long Beach. I wanted to be near them. I’m really close with my brother and my nephew and niece that are down here too and I was also interested in the Business School. I want to major in Business. And of course the legacy of USC.
We hear you are a classical pianist.
I played classical piano for about 11 years. My mom kind of forced all the kids to do piano. I stuck with it the longest. I enjoy it and relaxing to it. I like to play Chopin, Claude Debussy, Scott Joplin. I still play the piano. When there was a player meeting, I played the piano in front of the team. It was Tupac’s “I Aint Mad at Cha’.” I also used to play the saxophone in my middle school band.
You were offered a scholarship by Paul Hackett. After the coaching change, Pete Carroll honored that scholarship. Tell us about that experience.
It felt really good. I fell in love with USC when I came down to visit when I was a junior in high school. The history of USC football and the legacy of Tailback U. I was a tailback in high school. I wanted to be that next great tailback at USC but unfortunately that didn’t happen. When I got the offer, I committed to USC five days later. I love it here. I knew this is where I wanted to be.
Is there a connection that you have with Starbucks Executive, Lawrence Maltz in Seattle that helped shape your decision to commit to USC?
Well his father went to USC and we were neighbors back where I lived. He knows Don Winston at USC. He’s a big USC fan he kind of helped get the coaches to look at me. Lawrence is a great guy I know. He’s a good man.
During your career at USC, you were kind of the unsung man in a backfield of Heisman Trophy winners. What was it like to play with Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush?
They’re really talented people and they kind of make my job easier. It feels good that I don’t have to over push myself when I got Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. Matt and I were roommates during my sophomore year. I had a good time.
Is there a favorite block you made for Reggie Bush? Or a favorite pass you received from Matt Leinart?
I would say it was the catch from the Texas game where I got my helmet knocked off. It was the big game. For Reggie, it would be the Arkansas game where the play was to the right and he cut all the way back behind me and faked the safety and ran 80 yards for the score. He followed me and that’s why he scored.
What was your favorite single play? And what was your favorite game?
My favorite play would be the catch during the Texas game where my helmet got knocked off. It was a tough catch. My favorite game was the Arizona State game where I had seven catches for a total of 97 yards. I felt I was being counted on in the passing game, and plus, Reggie and LenDale ran for over 100 yards each. I had a good game.
Tell us how it is like being coached by Todd McNair.
Throughout my football career, he’s my favorite coach. He’s a mentor. He’s a real person. He won’t lie to you. He’s a caring dude. I’m gonna miss him a lot. He won’t yell at you and get in your face if you do something wrong, but he’ll let you know. I wish I could have more years with him.
We understand you’re going for a master’s degree. When you’re done with football, what are your career plans?
I graduated with a degree in marketing and I am going for my masters in communications management. When I am done with football, I would like to travel the world. Go to Hawaii and Europe. Snowboard. I would like to do trading in stocks or maybe start a small company or in a big company, be a brand manager.
Speaking of “brand manager,” we understand you used to work at Mattel.
Last summer, I worked for Mattel under a brand manager. He was in charge of the Justice League toys from creating them to marketing them. He comes up with the ideas and you see their ideas go into production and then them going into stores. I enjoyed working at Mattel.
You’re familiar with Taylor Odegard from Mercer Island HS. Any thoughts on him?
I was senior when he was a freshman. He’s a good kid. I hope he starts. I think he’ll do good job.
Any last words you want to leave the Trojan fans with?
To all the people in business from USC, contact me. After football, I feel I can a valuable asset to a company. I’m happy I got to come and play here. It was a fun ride. I want to thank the fans for all their support.