I was raised always attending church. I became a Christian at the age of seven, I believe. My entire life I've always wanted to please my parents, always wanted to please my father; and I think, more often than not, I did. I was successful at that.

But I would say that my game-changing moment was at the age of 15. A group of rappers came to our church. They were known as Cross Movement. It was very cool to meet them and to see guys who were about 8-10 years older than I was at the time, still living in the culture that I lived in, but they weren't really of the culture. They were different even though they dressed like me and they spoke how I did, but there was something different about them. The difference was their maturity in [their Christian faith and walk], and it was something that I really looked up to. I wanted to be like them. No, I can’t rap, but I did want to be like them.

Over time I have persevered through a lot, and I've continued to fight, but at the end of the day I understand that my help comes through the Lord, and that’s what I hold onto. Being here on this team, I have great brothers in Christ who are my best friends. Playing in the NFL, there can be a lot of temptations and a lot of things that you go through, but when you have [friends] who are “all in” on this whole Jesus thing, it gives you the confidence to also be all in.

It’s a privilege to play in this league. Even though I didn't get drafted, thankfully I had the opportunity to come to the Cincinnati Bengals in April of 2010.  And starting from ground level, just going to work and not having a negative mindset, not complaining, but being thankful that I had the opportunity to make the team, eventually I got a call to come up and join the 53-man roster. I went on the field, and I haven’t looked back since. 

In everything I do, I try to be a leader. The Bible says, “Let your light shine before men.”* So whether people are watching me or not, I try to do the right thing, because the truth is that people are all watching. I try to be a leader in the locker room and I try to be a leader in the community as well. I may not be a captain, but I know that I’m a leader on the team, and I want to be a leader in life. In all my relationships, with everyone I know, I want to be someone who leads them to Christ eventually.

*Matthew 5:16 (NASB), "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."