1. Who has been the most influential person in your life and how?
I try to surround myself with positive influences and inspirational people on a daily basis because I believe that the people you associate yourself with are who you too will become. The biggest of these influences has been my dad. My dad taught me how to throw a football the proper way, a good portion of what I know about sports and most importantly he taught me by example how to treat other people. At the end of the day, our interactions with everyone from our families to the mailman to colleagues at work are what really matter. In my opinion, the way someone treats others defines their real character as a person more so than any career, money or amount of fame ever could.
2. Who is your favorite athlete of all time and why?
Bo Jackson. Not only has this guy won a Heisman trophy, set numerous records and played more than one professional sport well, but off the field he is even more inspirational. He overcame a speech impediment and is now a tremendous motivational speaker! He conquered his fear so that others could benefit from his life lessons. A lot of people can be great in more than one aspect of their life, but Bo strived to not only be great but to be the BEST at everything he did, including his education. “Set your goals high and don’t stop till you get there,” is one of his life mottos. The fact that he graduated from Auburn doesn’t hurt either!
3. How was the experience in going to school at Auburn with Indianapolis Colts' CB Jerraud Powers?
Jerraud was the first guy I met when I stepped on to the Auburn University campus. We met at Camp War Eagle, the Auburn orientation, and spent most of the time in the basement because of tornados. I then had the pleasure of working with him because of reporting on the football team and at games. He is one of the most humble and hardest working guys I know. Every person that works with him and knows him respects him as a player and as a person. I feel fortunate to have met Jerraud, and know that God has big things in store for his future.
4. How has your time at Auburn played a part in your journey to becoming a sports personality?
During my time at Auburn, I was really the only woman sports reporter for the campus news station. My good friend Josh was the sports director of the station, and between his advice, learning by trial and error and by being thrown into the locker room during spring practice I was forced to adapt and thrive in different industry situations. I was on the sidelines during the Auburn vs. LSU game when ESPN GameDay was there. Their producers saw me working and I joked with them if they had an internship available. They said they were always taking new interns each semester, and then I went through the interview process and was chosen to intern. After my internship, the reporter reel I made during my time at Auburn was passed around ESPN and I was asked to go through screening tests, and the rest is history. In my opinion it would be almost impossible to cover SEC football and not develop a passion for the game! There is something exciting and overwhelming about that atmosphere, especially Auburn Football, that is unlike anything I will ever experience.
5. What inspired you to take up a career in sports?
From as far as I can remember, sports have always been my life. From attending my brother’s little league games, where my dad was a coach, to being taken out of school early to catch Astros batting practice, sports have always played a prominent role in my life. Sports have the power to combine mental and physical toughness and to teach life lessons to kids at a young age. I cannot sit at sporting event and watch without getting chills and having an overwhelming since of pride for the guys on the field. I decided that anything that affected me this extensively was definitely worth pursuing as a career. After all, if you don’t have passion behind your work then you won’t enjoy what you are doing and others won’t enjoy watching you.
6. Which ESPN personality are you closest with behind the camera?
All of the personalities and anchors at ESPN are amazing and extremely helpful. Some have taken me to the hospital when I received a concussion and sat with me in the emergency room, some have critiqued articles and segments for me and all have been there with tremendous career advice. There isn’t really just one personality in particular that I am close with, because everyone at ESPN is such a close knit family.
7. What are your primary goals as a ESPN personality?
To continue to grow professionally, to become even more knowledgeable about the intricacies of the different games and the industry itself, to provide sports fans with a unique view of their favorite sports, teams and players.
8. What is your ultimate goal in life?
To be content in every aspect of my life at every stage in my life.
9. Do you have any words of wisdom for those pursuing the job of covering sports?
As with anything in life, make sure you love what you are covering. If people can see that in you and you have a unique perspective on the games you cover, they will want to watch you.
10. Do you have any shout outs or comments for readers?
I appreciate all of my supporters! You guys are amazing and because of you, I am fortunate enough to be able to do something I love and am passionate about!