Frank Kleha: What’s something about you that people would be surprised to know?
FK: Most embarrassing moment as a kid?
HD: My dad was coaching me in a basketball game and he told me to slow the ball down the court and I was speed balling down the court and turned the ball over. He called time out just to jack me up in front of everybody. He embarrassed me in front of everybody.
FK: What’s the strangest thing we’d find in your suitcase when we travel on road trips?
HD: I’m a little different when I pack. I always over-pack when I go places. I will go somewhere for a day and a half and I will pack four or five outfits. But the one thing I can never leave home without is a stereo. I love music. I wake up to music; I go to sleep with music; I do everything to music. So I have to have a stereo when I go places.
FK: Why is music so important to you?
HD: Music puts me in a place where I feel calm and relaxed and… just good. When I get up in the morning, I just feel like I have to listen to music.
FK: What do you like to listen to the most?
HD: It depends on my mood. One day I may want to hear oldies; some Temptations or some Al Green. One day I may want to hear some R&B like R. Kelly or Mary J. Blige.
FK: Favorite artist?
HD: T.I. He’s from Atlanta. That’s been my favorite artist since way back in the day.
FK: What’s one thing you are good at that most people struggle with?
HD: Adapting to any situation. It doesn’t matter what the situation is; good or bad, I’m going to adapt to it. If it’s bad, I’m going to find a way to make it a great situation.
FK: You’ve been so involved in the community since you’ve been with the Falcons, what drives you to do so much for your native state?
HD: I’ve done it since I was a little kid. I have that great foundation from my mother and father. They taught me to always give and not expect so much. When I was growing up my father coached my basketball team and we would go around and feed the homeless and go to soup kitchens. I can even remember when I was young my father gave me $5 once and a homeless guy was asking for some money and I just gave him the $5. So it’s instilled in me. I always tell people if you are going to give something to others do it with a cheerful heart. I think it’s a waste if you don’t have the right intentions. Being in a position to be able to do it, I feel like it’s my duty.
FK: What inspires you?
HD: Life. I think a lot of people take life for granted, period. I don’t take it for granted one bit. So, just being able to open my eyes and wake up every morning. I’m thankful for that alone.
FK: What’s your favorite indulgence?
HD: I’m a big steak eater. I just about have to have steak every day or every other day. If I don’t have steak I feel something is not right. Growing up my favorite food was chicken wings. It kind of switched when I was a senior in college (at Louisville) and became steak.
FK: Favorite steak places?
HD: Hal’s The Steakhouse. I’m in there a lot. Hal is great. I like Ruth’s Chris, Houston’s and Longhorn’s, too, but Hal’s is the best.
FK: Type of steak that you like best?
HD: Ninety-five percent of the time it’s rib eye. Those are the most flavorable steaks.
FK: Hollywood crush growing up?
HD: Nia Long. My favorite movie is Love Jones, and she played the lead.
FK: You have a special relationship with your brother, Toney. Why are you guys so close?
HD: First of all, he’s my best friend. And it’s more wonderful that you have a brother, a best friend AND also somebody who is a professional athlete that can call you any time and you can share any moment with because he’s living the exact same thing you are. We are like twins, but the only thing difference is he’s laid back and I’m more animated and a live wire. Our relationship is unbelievable. I can’t imagine life without my brother.
FK: If you weren’t playing football right now, what would you be doing?
HD: I would be in law school. I’ve wanted to be a lawyer forever. I wanted to be a lawyer before a pro football player. My major in college was Political Science and I worked at a law firm during my senior year at Louisville. I want to take the LSAT and go to law school when I’m done playing football.
FK: If you had to be in a talent show, what talent could you display?
HD: I would sing. I can sing gospel and R&B; it doesn’t matter what it is. But I can’t sing country. Spoon (
FK: If someone asked you for your best piece of advice, what would it be?
HD: In our world, people tend to doubt others. And I’m living proof of that. So no matter what, I honestly feel that you just need one person to believe in what you want to do. If you believe in yourself, you don’t need anyone else. Does it help to have others (believe in you)? Of course it does. But as long as I believe in myself, nothing else can stop me. I’ve dealt with doubt my whole life and I deal with it even today.
FK: Is there anything you wish would come back into fashion?
HD: Slouch socks (big smile). I wore them in high school. They are like tube socks. My whole basketball team wore them.
FK: If you wrote a book on your life so far, what would be the title?
HD: The Unbreakable, because it didn’t matter what people threw at me growing up, and I still feel the same way now. You can never break me.
FK: OK, since you are such an avid University of Louisville supporter, wearing Cardinals gear all the time, will QB Teddy Bridgewater win the Heisman Trophy?
HD: He’s the best quarterback in college football right now. In my eyes he will win the Heisman. He’s tough and a very, very smart kid. He has everything; composure, arm strength, you name it.