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First Person

Cato June, Colts Linebacker

Posted: Tuesday January 30, 2007 11:40AM; Updated: Tuesday January 30, 2007 11:40AM
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Cato June, Colts Linebacker.
Cato June, Colts Linebacker.
Greg Nelson/SI
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As told to Ben Reiter

On his alltime favorite Super Bowl memory

Watching a [fellow] Michigan man, Desmond Howard, score a touchdown against the Patriots [in Super Bowl XXXI in 1997]. I remember when [Green Bay's] Howard had that kickoff return for a touchdown.

On his fashion sense

I rock the sweats pretty often, especially coming from practice. Just gray sweats -- I'm not going to get into the colors. I'm a sweat suit, jeans, sneakers type. Not a bunch of extra stuff.

On his unusual first name

It's a family name -- I was just next in line. During the O.J. trial, people called me Kato Kaelin a lot. I also got the Green Hornet, after the comic book character. Kato was his sidekick. His homeboy.

On attending Anacostia High in Washington, D.C.

It was a great time. It's in Southeast D.C., which is a rough area. I played basketball, football and track. We played in the Turkey Bowl, which is the city football championship held on Thanksgiving every year, three straight times. My senior year I played against [current Jaguars quarterback] Byron Leftwich -- he went to H.D. Woodson High -- in the Turkey Bowl, but they beat us.

On being class president and a member of the National Honor Society

I was all about learning from the guys before me who had the opportunity to go to college. That was the big thing for all of us, to go to school. Every May the college coaches would come in from around the nation to look at us, and a lot of guys would let all their talent go to waste because they didn't have the grades. I wasn't going to let that go to waste.

On whether it was frustrating to have to switch from safety, which he played at Michigan, to linebacker in the NFL

Frustrating? No, it was an opportunity, the opportunity to continue to play football. A lot of guys who are really good in college just vanish. Moving from safety to linebacker, you have to make your reads a lot faster in the box. One false step can mean you won't be where you are supposed to be, which isn't always true at safety. As a linebacker your initial step has to be decisive.

On playing against the AFC's top offense in practice

When Peyton starts doing his thing at the line, you've really got to be patient -- and it's even tougher because he knows what defense you're playing. Going against guys like Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison every day makes you that much better. Because if they come anywhere near the football, they're going to catch it.

On the key to the Colts' sometimes vulnerable run defense's playing well

We've got to focus on playing fast and getting guys to the football. We all know what we're capable of.

JUNE, A PRO BOWLER IN 2005, LED THE COLTS WITH 162 TACKLES AND HAD THREE PICKS THIS SEASON.

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