Getting to Know: Xavier Grimble

Xavier Grimble Tight End University of Southern California 1st Season Who is your football mentor or inspiration?I've been on four teams so I always try to gravitate to someone in my position who plays at a high level. Last year, Heath Miller and Martavis Bryant were my mentors. Having been in San Francisco with the 49ers, Vernon Davis was my mentor there. Outside of that I try to find guys in the business that have done it over the years, been in the league for a really long time and played at a really high level.What motivates you?My daughter, Emiko who is 1 ½. All of my family motivates me. Plus what I am doing. I always wanted to be a professional player. I didn't know if it would be football or basketball growing up. When I got to high school I made that decision. It's still a dream of mine to be a great player.

What is your football mindset?Hard work and compete. The way I look at things is football is way too hard to want to be average. I strive to be the best you can, be the best version of yourself. Give yourself the best opportunities. It's a tough game, a tough business. I feel like it would be a waste of time to coast through it. Above all work extremely hard and try to be your best. Seek the best information from the resources and try to be the best you can.

Why do you play football?I grew up playing, since I was six years old. I've loved the game since I was a kid. I've continued to love it. I want to be a great player. That's all I've really thought about. From high school I wanted to get to college, college I wanted to get to the NFL. Not just go through the phases, but to be a household name or a legendary player or someone that can be remembered. That's why I play, for the love of the game. I want to play at a high level so I can be amongst the guys who came before me who played at a high level.What is your proudest football moment or memory?My most memorable moment in college would be when we beat Stanford. We hadn't beat them in two or three years. It was a Thursday night game. We were down, came back, and had a dramatic ending. We won the game. At* *USC we're used to winning, but it was emotional. At the end people rushed the field. As soon as the game was over I was looking around and it seemed like the whole school was out there on the field. It was fun.

When you hear Steelers football, what do you think?
I tell people this all the time, but I grew up a Steelers fan. Growing up that's all I knew, Steelers football. That was our family's team. When I think of Steelers football, I think of hardnosed, tough, hard hitting, great team.

What do you like about Pittsburgh?
It's a blue-collar town. Especially coming from West Coast, I value some of the things it's taught me being here. It has a professional feel about it. You see a lot of people in the working class go to work every day, show up on early, leave late. I feel that's kind of how this organization is, first class, top tier, and blue-collar. Not saying I didn't get that coming from the West Coast. It's just valued more here. I think that's actually helped me a lot in the way I go about my business now. I go about being a professional, taking things more seriously. There's a standard here especially being a Pittsburgh Steelers player. There is a standard to be the best, so that's what I'm trying to do every day.

What is your impression of Steelers fans?Now that I'm older I actually see how many people are actually Steelers fans. There are fans everywhere. People always say the Cowboys are America's team, but I feel the Steelers are America's team because we have so many fans everywhere.

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