Miami Dolphin star and D.C. native Vontae Davis talks exclusively with Niteside about growing up in D.C., the NFL Lockout, and overcoming adversity.
You're a rising star in the national football league -- are you living your ultimate dream?
I am! But, funny enough, I thought I'd be a basketball player when I was younger. I actually didn't take football as serious until I got to high school. The more I played and trained for it, the more I loved it. Being a part of the league is a blessing.
Speaking of the NFL, there's been a lot of controversy surrounding the NFL lockout that was just lifted. Do you think it was necessary?
It was definitely necessary. At the end of the day, everyone needs to remember that the NFL is a business. You have to take care of your business before you do anything else, and that's just what it is.
You played high school football forDunbar High School. What was life like for you growing up in D.C.?
It was good thanks to my grandmother. She raised my brothers, sisters and I. It's seven of us all together, so I'm sure it wasn't easy. She's my inspiration, the reason I want to be successful.
Is your grandmother one of the reasons you started the Davis Family Foundation?
Yes, she is. Our foundation is about helping parents with a substance abuse problem and also encouraging kids to live a healthy smart lifestyle. I think foundations like ours can be an essential part of a kid's life.
Who inspires you?
My brother, [San Francisco 49ers tight end] Vernon Davis, inspires me. I appreciate his passion for the game and his willingness to give me what I needed to get into it.
What words of inspiration can you give to aspiring football players out there?
To never give up and stay focused on your goal!
Looking 10 years down the road, where do you see yourself?
Hopefully, I'll be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame with a solid career under my belt.