The Gators football season will be here before you know it, and when it arrives, you’ll see some new faces in the Orange and Blue. GatorCountry.com is taking a few minutes to talk to each of the incoming freshmen, so we can all get to know these guys we’ll see on the field in the Fall.
Name: Ja’Juan Story
Position: Wide Receiver
Hometown: Brookesville, Florida
High School: Nature Coast Technical High School
Q: What number do you want?
A: I haven’t really thought about it actually, it doesn’t really matter.
Q: Who are you planning on rooming with at Florida?
A: I don’t know that either. I’m just gonna move there. I don’t know nothing.
Q: Don’t you have a tattoo that says “blessed”? What is the significance of that for you?
A: Well, I just feel blessed in my life and, I’m going to Florida and my life is actually becoming positive, like even more positive than it was in the previous years. I feel blessed. Actually my tattoo says “truly blessed” because I got “truly” on the other arm, so I just feel like I’m really blessed to have the opportunity.
Q: So would you say that’s like a life philosophy or motto for you?
A: Yes, because the opportunity, that’s all you can ask for.
Q: Do you feel like you’ve overcome a lot of difficult challenges?
A: Yeah, my life wasn’t always good. I think I’ve overcome a lot of things.
Q: What do you think is one of the biggest challenges you’ve overcome?
A: Well, one, growing up without a dad. I mean, he went to jail when I was like a baby.
Q: How has that affected you?
A: Everybody always had their dads, like dad figures. Me, all I had was my mom, and my brother, but my brother moved away. So really it was all my mom I had. Everybody needs like their father figure, so that’s affected me.
Q: So are you really close with your mom?
A: Of course.
Q: Okay, let’s switch gears a little bit. What are you planning on majoring in?
A: Business Management. I already have it thought up, I want to have this business, so I gotta take business and own the business.
Q: What kind of business?
A: It’s going to be mostly sports, but I don’t want to tell you my idea, you might steal it.
Q: What are you most excited about coming to Florida?
A: Well, obviously football, but something else, I like meeting new people.
Q: What’s your biggest non-football hobby?
A: Besides video games, I like swimming, I like playing basketball, wait actually ping-pong is the best. I love ping-pong. I’m very competitive too, I hate losing at it. I broke like a million paddles.
Q: What’s your most embarrassing moment on the field?
A: I was running, I was gonna score a touchdown and then some kid came behind me and grabbed my pants down, and my pants came down, so it was pretty embarrassing. I think I turned red a little bit. My booty was out, it was pretty embarrassing.
Q: if you were a character from a Disney movie, who would you be and why?
A: Aladdin, I think he’s pretty cool, he’s like easy going, cool guy, and he has Jasmine. I like how he wears his little vest with it open.
Q: How did you get started playing football?
I got started playing for HYL (Hernando Youth League), my mom used to work for this man and she told him about us, and he asked if we played football, and we hadn’t, but I remember it wasn’t a really organized team like some people, some of these coaches actually pick teams before the season, and me and my brother this was our first year, and we went out to get put on a team and they picked us last because nobody really knew us, but we were like the best people out there. It was pretty cool. The year after that they were fighting over us.
Q: If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
A: I would say to go invisible, because you can do so many things, not necessarily bad, but you could play so many jokes on people and scare so many people it’d be so cool, just go invisible and you could see things. You know, people wouldn’t do certain things around people, and when you’re invisible they won’t see you so they’d actually be themselves and you’d get to see the real person.
Q: If you could share the field with any athlete past or present, who would it be?
A: I would say Deion Sanders. Because he talks so much stuff, like he does impressions, and just to hear all the funny stuff he says, how much trash he talks.
Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: “Paper Soldiers.” Actually, my real favorite is “All About the Benjamins.”
Q: What’s the most played song on your iPod?
A: Most played…I don’t know, I want to say Katy Perry, “Fireworks.” It’s intense.
Q: What’s your favorite pre-game ritual?
A: Well, I take a doodoo. Before every game I doodoo.
Q: That’s your FAVORITE pregame ritual?
A: Well, that’s the only thing I do. That’s one thing I have to do before every game, or I won’t feel energy, and I’ll just feel slow. When I do I just feel light on my feet and everything, and I feel faster, so that’s what I do.
Q: You know I’m going to write this in a story right?
A: Well, I mean, that’s what it is. I doodoo and then listen to Katy Perry.
Q: What’s something about you that surprises people?
A: I’m really shy actually. When I get in front of a lot of people, like in class, I don’t know, it’s weird, but if I have to do an oral presentation or something, my heart starts beating real fast and I feel like I can feel my heart beating through my mouth. And that throws me off a little bit, my palms start sweating, it’s annoying.
Q: What about on the field when everyone’s watching?
A: When I play football, that’s different, it’s like there’s nothing there, I’m not shy.
Q: What are 3 things you can’t live without?
A: A fan, rosary beads, and my wave cap.
Q: A fan?
A: Yeah, I don’t know why, it can be like 50 degrees in my house but I always feel the need to have a fan blowing in my face. And I get sick and I still have it on.
Gator Country reporter Amy Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Twitter at msamycampbell.