Excerpts from Observer staff writer Charles Chandler's interview this week with the Panthers' rookie running back:
Q: How comfortable are you with the offense?
I think I've grasped pretty much a big large sum of what's going on. There are still a couple of things, especially as we're game-planning on different teams, kind of acknowledging each team's personality as a defense. Today, there was a blitz pickup (in practice) where I was kind of asking Jake (Delhomme) what he called so I could kind of get some feedback from him and put it all together for myself so I could watch film and have it all fit together and make sense totally.
Q: You wept when you got the call from the Panthers on draft day saying they were picking you in the first round. What were you feeling?
I was just overjoyed. I was just thankful for God having so much favor on my life.
Q: What are some of your favorite video games?
Call of Duty 4, Halo, Rock Band, and Gears of War is about to come out in October.
Q: How has having a distant relationship with your natural father affected you?
It's built my character. That has played a large role in me growing as a man, and just learning from his situation as a father. Right now, it is what it is. We talk now and just try to keep it as optimistic as possible.
Q: Have you experienced a lot of hurt because he wasn't around much when you were growing up?
Oh yeah. And he understands that, too. I don't know that there's much to say about it.
Q: What to you envision for your life after football?
Pretty much to serve my community wherever that may be. I'm pretty sure one day I want to get back to my homeland, Lacey.