Scott Porter: What do you feel are your greatest strengths as a safety?
Jamar Hornsby: I feel my biggest strengths as a safety is my combination of size and speed. I am big safety who can run. I am well rounded as I can cover the pass and support the run well as well as deliver the big hit. I have that good height to go up and get the ball. I also cover a lot of ground as I can move from sideline to sideline well and read and react to plays.
Scott Porter: What are you looking forward to the most this season? You are entering your second season at Tuskegee after being out of football for two years. The rust is off now, what should we expect to see this year out of Jamar Hornsby?
Jamar Hornsby: First off, I want to show the world that I still got it. I was highly touted coming out of high school and I feel like I have to prove that all over to people. People kind of forgot about me as a football player because of everything I have been through and I want to show everyone that I still have what it takes to play in the NFL. Last year was my first year back after two years out so I have shook out all the rust and I am ready to go. I am more prepared this season as I have that first year back under my belt and I have now spent a full year at Tuskegee. Last year I came to Tuskegee weeks before the first game so I have had some time to adapt and I am really enjoying it here. It has been a great experience and I feel I have learned a lot here and am ready to show all of that combined with my skills on the field. I am really looking forward to this season. For the first time in a long time I was able to just focus on football this off-season. I understand the defense a lot better. I feel like everything is now second nature out there because I understand and have adapted well. Learning the defense and focusing this season has really made me feel like the game is in slow motion out there compared to last year because I understand things a lot better this year.
Scott Porter: You have had some off field issues. A lot of people have given up on you because of this. A lot of people think you have a damaged character. What would you tell these people? What would you tell these people about your character and how you have changed?
Jamar Hornsby: I have accepted my past and have moved on. I take full responsibility for what troubles I have had off the field and that is something I wish I could change every day, but I can’t do that unfortunately so I have to accept it, move on and learn from those mistakes and I hope others can use my story to learn from my mistakes. I am not proud of the mistakes I have made, but I am proud of the person I have become today. I want the world to know I am a totally different person. The biggest difference between the Jamar Hornsby back then and the Jamar Horsnby now is that I was just an immature kid. I am a grown man now. I have paid for my past and I feel I have matured a lot since that time. I understand the consequences of my actions and I have matured into a much better person. I see the bigger picture in life it isn’t all about me. I sat in a jail cell for close to a year, so sitting in that cell that was all I could think about the entire time was football. I know this is what I want to do with my life so I know I had to change if I wanted to have the privilege to play this game. Football is not a right; football is something you earn with hard work and dedication. The right to play can be taken away from you at anytime due to your behavior off the field. I had that right taken away from me because of my behavior and I will never let that happen again.
Scott Porter: What have you done to change yourself and become a better person?
Jamar Hornsby: The biggest thing for me to change was to starting listening. I use to be a very bold headed person. I didn’t like to listen to people. I am much more willing to listen to people for advice and with everything I have been through I finally woke up and change my outlook on life and how I go about a lot of things. My decision making is much better as I have matured and learned from my mistakes.
Scott Porter: Getting back to the football field, how would you describe your style of play?
Jamar Hornsby: I have grown into a leader. I feel I have very good leadership skills and a lot of players look up to me and ask for my advice. I am a vocal person and I lead by example. I have a tendency to bring out the best in players around me. I always try to come up with a big play early to set the tone for the game. I feel my teammates really feed of me because they see me as the leader of the defense. I try to get the best out of my teammates, they see me making big plays in practice and on the field and they become more eager. We work hard in practice together to become better each day.
Scott Porter: What are your goals and expectations of yourself for this upcoming season at Tuskegee and looking further, as you prepare yourself for the NFL?
Jamar Hornsby: The goals that I have set for myself this year include, first of all as a team have success. Our goal is to bring a Championship back to Tuskegee. We have worked hard all off-season to be a much improved team. As an individual goal I want to prove myself to be one of the best safeties in college football. I want to be one of the most talked about safeties in college football. I want to be known as that guy that overcame his past and changed his life around. I want to be known as the player and person I am today, not the player and person I was in the past. That is all behind me. All I need is for that one team to give me a chance, one team to believe in me like I believe in myself. I want people to see the real me. I’m just dying for that chance to get on the field at the next level. I can’t change my past but I did change the person I was. Now I can focus on reaching the dream I have always had of playing in the NFL.
Scott Porter: Coming out of high school you were highly recruited. You are the only player to ever be offered to wear the #1 jersey at the University of Michigan, which is a famous and rare number handed out by Michigan coaching staff when they feel a player is at an elite level. Nobody has been given the number since Braylon Edwards. You were a top 20 recruit, signed with Florida. You played there and you could have played at nearly any big school you wanted to coming out. What are the biggest differences between playing for a division 1 team and a division 2 team? Are there any advantages of playing at a division 2 level?
Jamar Hornsby: That is true. I was offered the #1 jersey by Michigan before even playing there. Florida was a great opportunity for me I never regret selecting Florida as my college choice. One advantage I have noticed for myself in playing for a smaller school is he learned to be a lot more disciplined. Division 1 is a little more organized but playing at Tuskegee has helped me a lot with my discipline. I think I have separated myself from a lot of other players because I have learned to be disciplined and that will help me going forward.
Scott Porter: Away from football what do you like to do with your free time?
Jamar Hornsby: I am very loving person. I am an easy person to get along with. I have 3 little sisters and I love to take care of them and spend time with them when I am back home visiting. I don’t get to see them a lot since they are back home and I am in Alabama, but I skype with them a lot and they really mean a lot to me.
Scott Porter: What is your favorite part about playing football? What got you interested in football?
Jamar Hornsby: I have loved playing football all of my life. I have always played at a high level. As far as what got me interested I am not really sure, I picked up on it fast, and being able to hit people without getting in trouble for it. When you are good at something and enjoy it you pick up a love for it. I have a huge passion for the game and I want to continue playing as long as I can.
Scott Porter: What advice would you have for a college athlete?
Jamar Hornsby: If I could give anybody advice it would be to stay focused. You are signing a scholarship to go to school and play football. If I could go back I would do a lot of things different than the way I did. I never really had a mentor in my life to teach me what was right and wrong. I know I shouldn’t have to have that, but there is something to be said for a young man who has that influence in his life as a mentor. My mom never really knew too much about football until recently. I would tell that person to not get caught up in all the off field stuff. Just stay focused on school and football because those two things can take you a lot of places. I’d do anything to be able to go back in time and change things but all I can do is look forward now.
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