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Inside the Helmet: Tiquan Underwood

Tiquan Underwood is a 24-year-old Rutgers product in his third NFL season and his fourth stint with New England. Originally drafted by Jacksonville in 2009 in the seventh round, the New Jersey native finished the 2011 regular season with three receptions for 30 yards in five appearances.


What is your earliest football memory?
Man, that's a good one. I would say playing Pop Warner, my first practice of contact football. I was anxious and nervous at the same time. I played in New Jersey for the Franklin Warriors. It was pretty fun. Actually, some of those guys are in the NFL now. Kyle Wilson is one, the corner for the Jets. He played on a few of those teams with me. It was a neat experience.

What was the first job you ever had?
It was actually working a football camp when I was in high school. At Notre Dame High School, we had a camp for kids, and I still get hit up by those kids on Twitter and Facebook, and they say, 'Do you remember me when you coached the camp?'

If you weren't playing football for a living, what kind of work would you be in?
That's a great question. I'm more of a people-person, so, I would try to get into broadcasting, probably stay around the Rutgers area, whether it had to do with football or basketball. I really like college athletics.

If you could play a character in a movie, who would you choose?
I would be in "The Dark Knight," either Batman or the Joker.

Oh really? Dual personality there, huh?
Yeah, I could play both sides.

Do you remember your first car?
Oh yes, it was a 2008 Ford Mustang with white and black pinstripes, black rims and black tint. It was a few years old. I got it my rookie year in the league. I don't have it anymore. I just have an all-black Chevy Camaro.

If you could meet anybody in the world, who would it be?
That's easy. Kobe Bryant. I look up to Kobe Bryant. He's a great competitor and basketball player. The way he tries to perfect his craft, man, I love his game.

You want to take him one-on-one?
I would, but man, that's a tough one [laughs]. I watched a video of him playing the rapper, Bow Wow, and he said, "It's different from watching the Discovery Channel, when you're actually in the water with the great white [shark]." I believe it.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Man, I'm a candy fanatic. Gummy worms, Snickers, Reese's, you name it, I like it. I'm paying for that in dentist bills, plus, as an athlete, you're not supposed to consume much candy, so, I have to hold off. It's hard.

Aside from your playbook, what was the last book you read that you enjoyed?
I read Drew Brees' book [Coming Back Stronger], about his life from childhood to when he was with San Diego, and choosing between New Orleans and Miami. It was a great story.

Where's your favorite place to travel?
I love Hawaii and California and I've been to Los Angeles a few times. I have a few friends from the Jaguars who live out there, Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis. The weather's beautiful and there's always something to do.

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