Childhood was all but smooth sailing for newly signed Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Horne. Last month marked the start of a three-year contract for the former UMass Amherst football player and Albany, NY native. In and out of foster care since age five, 24-year-old Horne's rise to success with dogged determination proves that anyone can achieve their goals. How did you think the Super Bowl went this year?The Packers played good. It was an up and down game. The Steelers didn't really play a good game. They had three turnovers and the Packers had none. The Steelers had a lot of miscommunication. They didn't play their best game, but the Packers played their best game. They didn't make any mistakes.
How old were you when you started playing football?
I first played in my backyard when I was seven or eight, but sophomore year of high school was my first completed football season. A lot of things were going on my in my life, so i couldn't play at the time.
Was there a specific instance that finally allowed you to play football in high school?
I was a foster child my whole life, so I was moving around from place to place, different homes, and stuff like that. My first year I actually played was my 8th grade year, but the family I was living with...they were really religious and didn't approve of me playing football. So, I couldn't play at that time. So, after a while...my sophomore year was when I went on my own. I've been on my own since I was 14. I had a job and did what I had to do to survive. I found a way.
What religion did your last foster family practice that prevented you from playing football until high school?
They were Jahovah's witnesses.
What lead up to you living on your own?
I was in group homes every other year or every two years. I lived with my real parents from birth until age five. When you turn 14 you can be an emancipated minor because the way my life was, the courts and everything they understood what was going on, and the last foster family I was with, was for two years, and me and the husband didn't get along.
What caused you to be placed in foster care?
Both my parents were drug addicts and social services intervened.
Did you always dream of becoming a part of the NFL?
I always dreamt of it.
How did it feel to get signed as a Kansas City Chiefs Wide Receiver?
It just means that it's time to go to work. Just because you get picked by a team...you got that jersey. Now how long can you keep it for? There are cuts every couple months. Before I actually made the team there were six cuts. There was rookie mini camp, then a cut, two cuts in OTA off-season (conditioning work outs), then three cuts in camps.
What is your fondest memory since being on the team?
When i first walked through the door...when I signed it, I didn't feel it, until I actually got there and saw my locker and saw my helmet.
What has been your experience been like so far?
The team starts out at 90 people in off-season training activities (OTA). The team is always looking for upgrades, always looking for someone to take the spot. Even though you're guaranteed you can still get cut.
Where did you live on campus?
Prince (in Southwest), but only for half a semester. Then, I moved to Winfield Apartments.
What did you do on the weekends at UMass?
I just chilled with my friends and did whatever.
What is your fondest UMass memory?
I met a very special lady here, a very special lady.
Did you feel UMass football prepared you for the NFL?
Yes, in ways.
What advice do you have for current UMass athletes?