Boy, it was probably in the third grade.
My parents watched pro football a lot growing up. There was always a game on TV and I'd watch it with them, but I was a kid. I didn't really get anything about it. One day, I was watching and decided I wanted to try it because it looked like fun. I asked my dad if I could sign up and, of course, he did not argue.
Within a matter of moments, I was signed up for the next season with CCYF, which is the youth league down where I'm from. I've been playing ever since.
Every little boy's dream is to play in the NFL or something to that extent.
Truth be told, it wasn't really something I considered a reality for me until junior year of college. I was just playing football. I didn't see much point in considering it because it seemed like such a far off into the distance kind of thing.
For a long time, I just wasn't worried about it. Mentally, I was worried about trying to be present where I was. My biggest concern was being a good teammate and a player for my brothers at U Dub [University of Washington] while I was there.
It didn't really feel like a legitimate thing until senior year of college when people were saying, "Yeah, you're going to go, man. Here it is."
My experiences at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine kind of made my shot at the NFL more realistic. Mostly they were miserable, but they were also fun.
The Senior Bowl was very nerve wrecking for me because there were top draft picks there. I felt like a nobody.