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See you soon Japan!

Updated: May 1, 2020


(photo by: Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire)


Man, to be honest I didn’t even know Japan had any type of football! Having never been out of the country before the game of football continues to bring me new challenges to overcome and I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity that awaits me.

Some background about my journey. Playing football in Texas is just different, you have high school stadium’s that are bigger than some colleges and your able to adapt to a college/pro like atmosphere at a young age. Its’ crazy man, for me I didn’t really grow into my body until 8th grade and it wasn’t until I went to a rivals camp where I was performing better then guys who were upperclassman in high school when I realized that, wow this football thing could really take off. As a 6’0 245lb freshman I played 2 games on freshman and the rest on varsity which led to 2 FBS offers after my 1st year in high school and the rest was history. There’s a lot of pressure growing up and playing football in Texas. As a top recruit in the state I was blessed to receive 37 offers, but at the end of the day playing for the Texas Longhorns was a dream of mine. It felt like home and that was the only school I was really worried about, so I committed. It was a blessing to play for The University of Texas and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

(photo by: @paulboyettejr Instagram)


I’m from Humble, Texas and that is where I help coach at Texas Footwork gym. It was there when I was introduced to the opportunity about playing football in Japan from a dad of an athlete who I train. To be honest I was like “man I don’t know about this”, but I did my homework on the X-league in Japan and I realized that this would be a dope opportunity to continue my football career and play in front of a passionate fanbase that the All Mitsubishi Lions offers which reminded me of Texas to be honest. Man, the idea of this happening, playing in another country I was like “what am I getting myself into?”. So, I did my homework, currently I have one high school teammate (Brison Burris) and a close friend (Les Maruo) who play over there and they gave me some advice which made my decision a lot easier. Also, I had the opportunity to speak with the Defensive coordinator of the lions when the Japan national team was in Dallas. I didn’t know any Japanese but having a translator (real MVP) there made the conversation easy.

This process has humbled me a lot and I won’t take this opportunity for granted. What I know about Japan so far is that it is one of the safest and cleanest places in the world. They are also big on education which I was excited to learn about. Currently I am a teacher and I was fascinated about how they learn and their teaching tactics, I feel like it will help me develop an understanding of their culture. What people do not realize is that when you’re in the NFL you’re in a box full of unrealistic expectations and all though it’s the ultimate opportunity, playing overseas is going to provide a different challenge that I am excited to tackle.

(photo by: @paulboyettejr Instagram)


I’ve been training at Alpha Flex Fitness in my hometown of Humble Texas with my trainer John Saunders who has been getting me right for the season. As of right now everything is on a day by day basis due to COVID-19, but I am hopeful that I can still leave for Japan around middle or end of July. I love to get out and explore so I am excited to work with the team and in the community. I’m going to embrace the culture and I’m looking to take advantage of this opportunity and everything it offers.

I am looking forward growing the game, help develop the my teammates, and contribute to the great culture the team has already. The Lions were looking for a defensive player and playing on the defensive line I plan to provide leadership and a high motor with a lot of interior push. To my future teammates be ready for a challenge, be ready for a new journey, and embrace the new path we are about to go on. You guys are getting a complete player on and off the field and I’m so excited to get there.

See you soon Japan!

PBJ

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