Greg Fassit, a 24-year-old alumnus of Grambling State University, recently won the Super Bowl XLIV Championship with the New Orleans Saints.
He graduated from Grambling State University in three years and enrolled in graduate school his senior year. After completing graduate studies he left to play in the NFL and played for the Chicago Bears in his first year.
Winning the Championship marked a significant milestone in the life of the promising football player. The following interview was conducted on his way to the Super Bowl victory parade (Lombardi Gras).
Q: What got you started?
A: When I was younger, football was a way of entertainment or extracurricular activity. It was an outlet for fun and that’s the only reason I did it.
I started playing organized football during my junior year in high school.
I was then offered a scholarship by Northwestern, Southern, and Grambling.
I chose Grambling because of its prestige. It’s an HBCU. Many great athletes went there. Grambling was also three-time SWAC champion at the time, and Doug Williams was the coach during my first year.
Q: What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
A: Up to this point, it would definitely have to be the Super Bowl. It is a team accomplishment-the mecca of the pro-football world.
Q: What are one or two things that you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
A: I’d say eating because it is a correlation to how you train. Another one would be nutrition, and also pushing yourself to an unbearable level where you ask yourself is it dangerous to my body to continue to work so hard? Or is it even more dangerous to give in to the fatigue?
Q: What is your diet like?
A: … Especially in season … I eliminate all fried foods. And that normally gets my diet to where it needs to be. I’m a fish guy (laughs).
Not fried food-seafood and pasta. Because at the end of the day all that plays a part in how your body performs.
Q: What would be your ultimate achievement?
A: Having an ultimate opportunity to put on a Saints uniform and play in the Superdome.
I have accomplished something no one thought I could, and taking it home, cause that would be the high point in my career.
Q: How do you set your goals?
A: Realistic . I don’t wanna have far-fetched goals … I prioritize and have a lot of discipline. It is impossible to achieve any goal without discipline.
Q: What is your biggest challenge? What do you do to manage this challenge?
A: A lot of things, from the beginning of my life to this point, that people said I couldn’t do. I’m always out to prove that I CAN do whatever I put my mind to.
Q: What differentiates you from your other teammates?
A: I have a natural born emotional attachment to the city of New Orleans.
I’m not just another drafted player. My indebtedness to the city is stronger by me being a native.
Q: What was the best advice you were given?
A: To realize that it’s gonna be a lot of challenges coming from college to NFL, especially being an underdog.
The two main people who advised me were Elder Lewis and Everson Walls, more so Everson Walls because he was a non- drafted player.
He told me that my focus should be “doing the best that you can do and staying humble.”
Q: Do you have a motto or saying that you live by?
A: Stay humble and stay hungry, man! (Laughs)
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A: From my role models-my mother and my father. They both taught me a lot, by leading, by example. That speaks volumes over the course of time.
They instilled in me what they spoke of, and they lived it.
Q: Anything else you would like to share about your experience in Superbowl XLIV?
A: The experience in itself was wonderful. It felt better to me to be from New Orleans, a native and resident of New Orleans, and to know how much pain the city has been through, and to share that happiness with my people.
Q: Did you ever think that you would play for the New Orleans Saints?
A: No, can’t say that I thought that I would, but I always hoped …
Q: What are your teachers saying now?
A: It’s a lot of people who congratulate me, and I know they don’t mean it, but I take it all in stride and use it as motivation. It’s a lot of “I knew you’d make it,” even though I never heard that back then.
Q: What was your major at Grambling State?
A: I was a criminal justice major. I wanted to be an attorney. I wanted to graduate in three years, which I did, possibly play in the NFL, if not, then law school.
I’m thankful to God that everything happened as it did.
Q: Who was your favorite professor at Grambling State?
A: Dr. Walter Davis.
Q: Is he upset that you did not become an Alpha?
A: (Laughs) He’s mad that I’m not a doctor, but happy that I’m successful in my career, nonetheless.
Q: What was your fondest memory of Grambling State, and when was the last time you visited?
A: My fondest memory was my first SWAC Championship. I actually visited for 2009 Homecoming. This was the first Homecoming I actually made since I left. And it was because I was injured (laughs).