It's been two years since you had to have emergency surgery. How are you doing?
"Great. I haven't have any symptoms since the surgery. I don't even think about it anymore. I went to the doctor two or three months ago for a checkup and everything was fine, so I hope and pray that this is all behind me."
You finished third in the voting for ACC's Defensive Rookie of the Year. Did it surprise you how much success you had as a true freshman last season?
"A little. I was just hoping to play on special teams, so to start most of the season was kind of a surprise. Once I got out there, I just played as hard as I could on every snap."
Are you trying to avoid that sophomore slump?
"Yes. If you have a big freshman year, a lot of guys have a tendency to maybe relax a little bit, so I'm trying to avoid that. My goal is to get at least one sack every game this season."
What was it about North Carolina that made you sign with the Tar Heels?
"It was a gut feeling. My top three schools were Alabama, Auburn and North Carolina. The night before signing day, I went to bed and told my family I was going to Auburn. Then I woke up and told my mother I was going to North Carolina. It was just a gut feeling that God had a plan for me here."
Why not South Carolina or Clemson?
"I liked both schools, but I never got the same feeling at either school that I got here."
Did you grow up a North Carolina fan?
"A North Carolina basketball fan, not a football fan. The fact that I'm here playing football always kind of makes me laugh."
When you were in high school you played with (Florida defensive end) Carlos Dunlap and against (Georgia wide receiver) A.J. Green. What were those games like?
"People always called Carlos and me the 'Twin Towers.' You knew playing against A.J. that you were in for a battle. We would double-team and triple-team him and couldn't stop him. You have to give him respect. I hope all us get to the NFL. Maybe we could all be on the same team (laughing)."
Your younger brother Miguel is turning into a pretty good football player at Fort Dorchester?
"He is, but I'll never tell him that (laughing). I don't want his head to get too big."
You got a chance to play against The Citadel earlier in the season. What was that like?
"I saw a lot of familiar faces and that was great. Guys who I played against in high school. I played with (Citadel linebacker) Mel Capers at Fort Dorchester. Mel didn't play, I think he was hurt, so that was disappointing. Still, it was fun to see a lot of guys I knew."
Julius Peppers or Lawrence Taylor?
Why Julius Peppers?
"LT was great, but Peppers plays the same position I do."
Beyonce or Halle Berry?
"Can I say both? (laughing). I can't pick between those two."
Jay-Z or 50 cent?
"I liked 50 Cent early on. I guess I have to stay with him."
Three people you want to have over for dinner?
"President Obama. Deion Sanders. Julius Peppers."
That's an interesting group?
"I think President Obama and Deion would be doing most of the talking."