The All O.C. Team
Renovate this. Make over that. Swap this. Trade that. Pimp this. Nip/tuck that. Isn't anything, or anyone, good enough as an original anymore? The entire planet has gone Veruca Salt ("I want the world. I want the whole world.... Give it to me now!"), and we'd rather you just handed the world to us. Be our Willy Wonka. Then along comes our All-On Campus team. Six studs who appreciate what they have and, better yet, have earned it. Here are jocks who prefer the simple life of college to the dog-eat-dog world of agents and premature departures to the pros. Who require no pimping, primping or pampering. They are an amazing race of athletes. Our All-O.C. team.
[ FOOTBALL ]
Why he matters: Best defensive player in the country. (Says who? Says us.) Was projected as a first-round pick in April's NFL draft but chose to stay in school. Postponing the pros: "I really don't know what I'd do with $2 million. Maybe upgrade my 2001 Ford Explorer? I'm not ready for that lifestyle yet. I'm having the greatest four years of my life in Austin, and I'll run with that for now. The money will come." Fanfare: "I was the youngest kid [out of four], so I'm always looking for the spotlight. It should be a college football player's dream to have all the media buzz. Who are these guys who don't like it?" On being a Playboy All-America: "You don't get to visit the mansion anymore. I can't imagine why. Twenty big dudes and a bunch of girls? Instead, we got together in Arizona, and they had Renovate this. Make over that. Swap this. Trade that. Pimp this. Nip/tuck that. Isn't anything, or anyone, good enough as an original anymore? The entire planet has gone Veruca Salt ("I want the world. I want the whole world.... Give it to me now!"), and we'd rather you just handed the world to us. Be our Willy Wonka. Then along comes our All-On Campus team. Six studs who appreciate what they have and, better yet, have earned it. Here are jocks who prefer the simple life of college to the dog-eat-dog world of agents and premature departures to the pros. Who require no pimping, primping or pampering. They are an amazing race of athletes. Our All-O.C. team.us do all these competitions, like tricycle riding and balloon fights. Much better than Playboy bunnies." Guilty pleasure: "I watched American Idol. Every episode. That was a solo act, though. I wouldn't implicate any other players in watching that." Pregame jams: "I like a little R. Kelly, some Michael Jackson. [Pause.] Not for any particular reason, though! Don't read anything into that." Family ties: "My brother Dwight was in Patriots camp as a defensive end. My cousin Bert Emanuel played nine years in the NFL. Aaron Emanuel was a running back at USC. Ben Emanuel is a free safety at UCLA. Kevin Emanuel was in Falcons camp as a defensive end. And I have a cousin at Oklahoma, John Williams, who's a defensive end. We had a family reunion this summer, and all those guys were there. You'd think there'd be some jealousy, but except for John Williams, who had a few words for me, it's all in the family. John's just a freshman, so he can't talk too much." -- Adam Duerson
[ Basketball ]
Why she matters: Naismith and Wooden awards finalist in 2004; averaged 19.4 points and six rebounds and led Lady Tigers to their first Final Four. On being tagged the next Jordan in 1999, as a ninth-grader: "The competition got tougher. They wanted to prove the label wrong. But I think that was best for me at that point in time -- to have something so big happen to me and to deal with the challenges that I had to face from that point on." Early riser: "I first dunked in the eighth grade. It was on the fast break, and I heard my dad yell, 'Put it in there!' So I just went up and did it -- and there was like total silence for at least a minute. Everyone was in complete awe. And I had to sit and think about what I had just done." Stylin': "To be able to have my own clothing line would be nice -- like casual wear, khakis and nice dress shirts. But I like evening gowns and stuff like that." Ideal wheels: "I like the '63, '69, '70, '80, '88 Chevy Impalas. Really, any type of old car. I watch shows like Pimp My Ride, American Chopper, Ride with Funkmaster Flex all the time. If I get into any money, hit the lotto, win Powerball, I will be at the first auction, junkyard, wherever I could find any one of those cars. I really want a '68 convertible Impala." On playing against guys: "My intensity and my anger get built up and it gets kind of rough out there, but I don't take offense to it; it's basketball and I understand that. I understand that they have their man pride that they have to keep." -- Arash Markazi
[ HOCKEY ]
Why he matters: Cuban-American goalie led Team USA to its first-ever gold medal at last winter's World Junior Championships. Taken sixth in June's NHL draft, by the New York Rangers, but returned to Ann Arbor for his junior season. The decision: "There were days I was positive I was leaving, but then I didn't feel 100 percent ready to leave. I wanted to come back and be a student and not have to embrace the kinds of responsibility that come with your pro career." Mama's boy: "The first thing I would've done with the Rangers' money would have been to help out my mom. Not that she needs it, but for once in my life I could repay her for being a single mother of four boys." New toy: "I used to think I had everything I wanted. But I guess I'd get a car -- an Escalade or something like that." Celebrity life: "I get random phone calls or e-mails from strangers. I get more calls from guys than girls. I usually let them know on a game night not to interrupt me." Bonding: "The whole team eats together on game night. The same meal every time: chicken, pasta and macaroni, and then after the game we have exactly the same thing. We've had that menu for 20 years, and no one complains." On being a psych major: "I'm all over the map. Before the game I like to see it and pretend I'm playing, create a sort of mental image. Psychology helps me out on the ice -- it's a big part of the game." John Kerry on skates: "If he were up against me, I wouldn't let him score. But I wouldn't let anybody score." -- Jaime Lowe
[ FIELD HOCKEY ]
Why she matters: All-America forward-midfielder had 29 goals (tied for first in the nation) last fall for Demon Deacons, who won a second straight national title. Field hockey? "I'm from a really small school in Massachusetts where the only fall sport is field hockey. More or less I was forced into it." Heaven sent: "I feel that when I'm on the field, it's my most natural place to be. You know how swimmers say that they're most comfortable in the water? Well, that's how I feel when I'm playing field hockey." Life after college: "I might go to grad school, but I also might play on the national team. The base for the national team is Virginia Beach, and a lot of the jobs around there are really accommodating to elite athletes. It's not the posh life by any means. You can't make any money by playing field hockey, but you can get by." Her sport's stature: "I just saw Miracle, and I could totally relate. I was telling my mom that that's what it's like to be on a team that's not very well funded. Field hockey in the United States is not anywhere near the level of the rest of the world; we're not winning gold medals, we didn't even qualify for the Olympics in Athens. So you really need to be devoted to it, and you're gonna have hard days, just like those guys." She ain't superstitious: "I try to shy away from rituals because I'm afraid if I have a poor performance I'll blame it on not having done the ritual. The only thing I do is take my watch off right before the game and shower the night before a game. I don't even listen to music before a game." Favorite tunes: "Anything by Natalie Merchant." -- J.L.
[ BASKETBALL ]
Why he matters: High-flying 5'9" guard's stock soared at NBA's June predraft camp, but he decided to return for junior year. Why stay? "[National player of the year] Jameer Nelson said the best thing he's done in his life was go back to school for his senior year and have a great season. I really respect what he did, so that was all I needed." Draft day: "Watching Jameer fall [to the 20th pick] shook me. When I saw where he was picked, I started to think about all the people who might be entering the draft next year, who I need to beat out. Chris Paul, Jarrett Jack, Dee Brown...." On quitting football after his freshman year (34 tackles, two interceptions in '02): "Basketball's more of a challenge. Football came naturally; it was easy. I wanted to focus a bit and prove to people I could be just as good at basketball." Favorite jams: "Baron Davis keeps a list of everyone he's dunked on, so my teammates suggested I start naming mine. I had one against N.C. State I called the Go-getter -- the ball was so far away that I had to go get it. Then I had one against Arizona and I named it Top 10, 'cause it was Number 1 on SportsCenter. Every time my teammates watch that, they sing that ditty: 'Da-da-da, da-da-da.'" Big daddy: "I've got a son, Nahmier, due in October. After I talked to Jameer I liked his name, but I wanted my son to have the same initials as me, so I tweaked it a little. This year I'll play for my team and my son. He's going to make me have a better season." Guilty pleasures: "I've been watching the Olympics, some BET and a lot of the Cartoon Network. I love Scooby-Doo, Family Guy and Futurama. But I'm really holding out for the day they bring Inspector Gadget back to TV. That's my favorite ever." -- A.D.
[ GYMNASTICS ]
Why she matters: Two-time NCAA champion in the vault, co-champion in floor exercise in 2004. Ashley the 5'7" giant: "[Teammate] Michelle Reeser is 4'9" and she looks like a little kid. And she's older than me! I wasn't always taller; I went through a growth spurt when I was 15." Main event: "My favorite is the floor exercise, because you get to play to the crowd." Smack-talkin' fans: "Last season we were in Kentucky, and I was only competing in vault. There were some rowdy fans, and they were always talking when you're running down there. After I stuck the landing, I looked at them and held my place a little longer, and I was like, Obviously that didn't work, so you might not want to do that anymore. I got a 10." On rumors she's a Britney fan: "No way, definitely not. That was in our media guide my freshman year, and I was like, Omigod, people are going to see this and think I like Britney Spears. That's definitely not true. I'm into more R&B, hip-hop music." Ultimate goal: "I'd like to act. I would definitely like to be in front of the camera. I want to be an action star. I would even like to be a stuntwoman. That might surprise some people. I want to be Catwoman; I could have done those moves." Gymnastics in Tuscaloosa: "People love their football here. But they also love their gymnastics. Every single year we're in contention for a national championship. Football is the heart of Alabama, but we're right there. We're one of the organs." On teasing her boyfriend, linebacker Earnest Nance: "I shouldn't say this, but I definitely have had more success than him. We've won four national titles, and the football team has won 12, but ours are more recent -- the last time they won was like 12 years ago." -- A.M.
Issue date: September 9, 2004