First Person Singular: Antwaan Randle El

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

My mom and dad kept us in sports. I mean, we played football, baseball and basketball. And when we weren't playing sports, we were involved in some kind of activity. Their whole thing was, they were going to make sure they kept us involved in things so we didn't run into any problems growing up. 'Cause it was drugs, it was shooting and all that. Then, when my mom got saved, when she gave her life to Christ, we went to church every day. Not every Sunday, every day. She would pick us up from practice, or my dad would pick us up, and take us to church. It was just like, "Man! We need some letup." But I understand now what they were trying to do. They kept a tight leash on us, and I think that helped us out.

I got drafted out of high school for baseball [by] the Chicago Cubs. And my mom and dad told me I couldn't go. They said, "You're going to go to college and get your degree." What? I didn't talk to them for like a month and a half.

God has a plan, you know, but it's a process He takes you through. I realized I had to go through that. I ended up going to college in Indiana, and I was starting quarterback for four years. Then coming out they were saying, "You might not have a chance to play quarterback [in the pros]. You've got a good arm, you can read defense, but, you know, you're short." That was all I'd ever played. I'm 5-9, and most guys are taller at the quarterback position. Mind you, this is my second opportunity to play pro ball, so I made up my mind: Cool, fine, I'm going to make this work. I'm going to go in [the draft] as a wide receiver.

I got drafted to the Pittsburgh Steelers, played there for four years, won a Super Bowl there, and then I signed here in '06. This is my third season with the Redskins. We can go down the field on this team, whether it's passing or running, or I'm reverse passing or whatever. And when you're part of that drive going down the field, and you win, you score, that's big. Just scoring! Scoring. That's the moment.

Interview by KK Ottesen


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