Jeremy Tabuyo is stepping up as a senior wide reciever at Texas A&M. So far this year, he has caught 11 passes for 211 yards to help Texas A&M to a 7-1 record and #7 rank nationally. He is 4th on the team in receiving yards.
Q: How did you wind up at A&M?
A: Honestly, A&M was nowhere near on my radar. I had never imagined myself playing in the SEC or just being recruited by the SEC, because I’m so far away. I hadn’t thought about coming here until they contacted me I would say in July, and this was after I tore my ACL. It really gave me a boost in my confidence, because I tore my ACL and they still wanted me. After that I talked to the coaches, and I really liked it. I just love the environment, the fans, Kyle Field, the coaches.
Q: Which college did you think you’d go to?
A: I pictured myself playing in the Pac-12 my whole time in high school, just because I’m from Hawaii. UCLA when [A&M offensive coordinator Noel] Mazzone was there, they were trying to get me. Oregon just because it’s in the Pac-12, but I didn’t want to follow in [high school teammate] Marcus Mariota’s footsteps. I knew for sure I didn’t want to stay on the island. I wanted to get away, so I could mature and grow a lot quicker, and there is too much distraction for me at home, the beach and all that, so I had to stay away from going to the University of Hawaii.
Q: What question do people ask you the most when they learn you’re from Hawaii?
A: There are a lot ridiculous questions. Some are like do you have electricity … do you ride canoes to school. It is crazy. Sometimes I just joke around and tell them we do ride canoes and we live in shacks and all that.
Q: What’s high school football like in Hawaii?
A: Football in Hawaii is actually really big, especially high school. [St. Louis] gets probably 8,000 a game … nothing compared to Texas, but football is a big-time sport in Hawaii.
Q: What do you miss most about Hawaii?
A: Definitely going to the beach. I brought Ricky [Seals-Jones] back with me during the spring, and we didn’t want to leave, almost missed our flight coming back. We ate a little too much Hawaiian food, and we had a good time at the beach.
Q: What’s the first thing you do when you go home?
A: I probably go to this spot called Zippy’s, a local restaurant, and get a plate of food and then go home. I order loco moco, which is pretty much rice with a beef patty and a fried egg on top.
Q: What’s your favorite place in Hawaii away from the tourist spots?
A: I took [Seals-Jones] on a hike that not too many tourists know about, just the local people. It’s a petty nice hike, easy to the top of a mountain. It’s in a city called Kailua. It’s called Pillbox hike.
Q: When did you know you were going to start against South Carolina?
A: The day before the game I found out I was going to start. It was a good feeling to know that I would start the game. [Noil] hadn’t practiced. We just didn’t know who was going to start and who was going to play until Friday.
Q: What did it feel like to make such a big impact in the win?
A: It was huge for me. I had fun, felt like I was back in high school. My phone was blowing up from people back home. I’d say it was like four in the morning over here and 11 o’clock at night there and people were still trying to call me, so I had to put my phone up.
Q: How hard was your one-handed catch in the second half?
A: Helps that I’m left-handed. Not a lot of people know that. I just focused on the ball, didn’t pay attention to the DB at all. I knew it was third down and I had to at least try and make a play on the ball. It’s my best catch definitely as an Aggie. Can’t beat a one-handed third-down catch.
Q: Will you return home after you graduate?
A: I’m not sure I will live back in Hawaii because of the traffic. It’s so bad all the time, doesn’t matter what time it is. You can hardly move. It’s also so expensive. Milk is $7 a gallon, gas probably $4. I might live here in Texas.
Q: What’s the significance of the tattoo that covers your left arm?
A: It’s pretty much a Polynesian tribe tattoo. It represents my family, my journey and all of that, my journey in life as a kid.
Q: Have your parents attended any games?
A: My parents’ last game was the Alabama game here when Johnny [Manziel] was here. It costs too much to come to games, $4,000, $5,000 for the two of them. They will be here for the LSU game, Senior Day.