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Behind The Facemask: Zeke Motta

Posted Dec 13, 2013

Rookie safety Zeke Motta likes to catch a few waves when he's away from the football field, and he discusses his surfing hobby and more in this week's Behind the Facemask

Frank Kleha: What’s the hardest transition you’ve had to make going from college football to the pros?

Zeke Motta: I would say time management, because you have to focus on being the best player you can be, and also off the field you have to take care of the extra things you need to get done. 

FK: What teammate has helped you the most to make the transition easier for you?

ZM: Dominique Franks has been a big help. But it hasn’t really been just one guy. Dom has helped me with things out on the field. Bobby Mac (Robert McClain) has helped me with things that don’t pertain to football at all. So it’s been a broad spectrum with a lot of guys helping me out.  

FK: Favorite hobbies outside of football?

ZM: During the offseason I like to be outdoors. I like to go fishing. I like to go to the beach and surf, and just be around the water. I’m a big nutrition guy so I train a lot in the offseason, but I grew up in Florida and I like going scuba diving and surfing.

FK: What’s one thing about you people would be surprised to know?

ZM: I think people would be surprised to know that I’ve surfed over 15 foot waves.

FK: What’s the best place you’ve ever surfed?

ZM: Puerto Escondido in Mexico (when I was 15 years old.) I went on a trip with my dad once when I was 13 down the coast of Costa Rica. I’ve been surfing, wake boarding, and skate boarding since I was 9 years old.

FK: Any inclination to take on the huge waves in Hawaii some time?

ZM: I’ve seen the waves in Hawaii and I do hope to eventually go surf some waves out there. When we were at the Hawaii Mainland All-Star game coming out of high school that’s the first time I went to Hawaii and me and my dad went to the North Shore (the famous spot for surfers). Those waves are beautiful, but when you get out there, it’s like a whole other monster, man.

FK: What did you want to be growing up?

ZM: As a kid, I really liked the movie Top Gun so I wanted to fly jets and be a pilot.

FK: First car?

ZM: It’s the one that I’m still driving. I got it two years ago. It’s a 2003 Ford Explorer. I’ve got 123,000 miles on it.

FK: Favorite indulgence?

ZM: Snickers or Twix. Brownies and ice cream, too.

FK: Are you a big movie guy?

ZM: I like a lot of old school movies like Trading Places, Good Fellas, and Cool Hand Luke.

FK: What about the best surfing movie you’ve seen?

ZM: I watch actual surf films where it’s just surfing. You get them from Dive Shops or Surf Shops. It’s just videos of dude’s surfing and goin’ around being crazy. The first surf movie I got was from Christmas and it was called Lost at Sea.

FK: Favorite actors?

ZM: Johnny Depp, Robin Williams, Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

FK: Favorite crush growing up?

ZM: I had a lot of them. I would say the top ones would be Avril Lavigne, Julia Roberts and definitely Angeline Jolie.

FK: What’s one thing that you are good at that most people struggle with?

ZM: I’m pretty good at drawing.  My major in college was Industrial Design. It’s like free hand drawing or three dimensional drawing (without using lines). Those are some of the classes I took in college.

FK: Best holiday gift you ever received?

ZM: I would have to say a bike. I was maybe 5 or 6 years old and I remember walking out (on Christmas Day) and seeing that bike and being ecstatic. I still remember it. I wanted one badly and had been riding on a little training-wheel bike and I finally got that bike.

FK: I heard you are seriously into nutrition.

ZM: A lot of it comes from my dad and how I was raised. I was always taught to take care of my mind, my body and my soul spiritually. So taking care of my body was always one of the first things I learned. We never really kept junk food at the house and that’s just carried over as I’ve grown up trying to figure out my body and what works for me. I try to be in tune with what helps and what doesn’t. I’ve got it down pretty good to a science at this point, but there’s obviously always going to be some things to learn. As far as nutrition, I was always brought up that it’s very important and it will help you in the long run.

FK: What’s your dream sandwich (with nothing to hold you back nutrition-wise)?

ZM: It would have to be a Cuban sandwich from down in Miami. I don’t care if it’s healthy or not. You’ve got the sliced pork, the pickles and mustard, and it’s all about the bread. The bread is crucial!

FK: What are three things on your bucket list?

ZM: I want to sky dive in one of those squirrel suits that expand out so you seem to fly. I’d like to learn how to sail. And I’d have to say date a supermodel.


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