Sept. 4, 2014
UMass Athletics caught up with junior wide receiver Tajae Sharpe
during preseason camp to get MinuteFans the inside scoop on some of Sharpe's teammates, including which defensive player he wouldn't want to line up against on the field.
Q: Who do you think is the best dancer on the team?
A: It has to be Marken Michel. Any dance he sees someone else do on TV or YouTube or in the locker room, he can imitate it. From watching him, in Florida they must just dance all the time, so he has definitely earned the title of being the best dancer.
Q: What about singer? Who has the best voice?
A: Kassan Messiah. Whatever song he hears, he usually can just start singing along to it. He's got a little bit of voice and is musically gifted along with his skills as a football player.
Q: Who do you think is the best student on the team?
A: I'd have to say Femi Oyewole. He gets a lot of A's and always has books with him. He is as dedicated in the classroom as he is on the practice field.
Q: Who makes you laugh the most?
A: Trey Dudley-Giles is the funniest guy on the squad. He makes up a lot of jokes randomly and is always a good sport when we joke on each other. He isn't one to pull too many pranks on guys, he just has a lot of jokes and can get us all laughing. He's a really funny guy.
Q: Who do you think is the most intense while playing?
Q: What is something about your teammates that most people don't know?
A: Kassan Messiah, again. He's very focused when he gets on the field. He blocks everything out and focuses just on the task at hand regardless of the situation. You do not want to line up against him because he goes hard every single play.
A: Most people may not know that my first love was basketball - I was a shooting guard. I am very good at basketball as well and I was supposed to be a basketball player coming out of high school. People who have watched me play have compared my style on the court to how a young Tracy McGrady and a young Kobe [Bryant] played at that age.
Q: What do you hope to do with your major?
A: My major is communications. Of every option that major gives me, I'd like to work with the broadcasts I've watched of games on the NFL Network or NBA TV, something along those lines. Branching out, maybe even something behind the scenes with the camerawork and the production end.
Q: What is the most interesting class you've taken at UMass?
A: Probably math. It's a lot different than high school math. UMass took it to another level and I have always liked math. It may be surprising to some, but so far my math classes here have been really interesting and actually a lot of fun.
Q: Who has been your most interesting professor?
A: Tami Drummond, who is one of our team's academic advisors. Having her as a professor for a class was a little bit different from what I was used to, but a fun experience at the same time.
Q: What are some of your favorite places on campus to relax?
A: Usually when I have a little down time I'll head over to a teammates' dorm or apartment. We are a really close group and we love to get together away from the field to relax.
Q: What is something unique that you like about UMass?
A: Everybody is friendly up here. On campus, students will come up to you, speak to you and it'll be a nice conversation. I think that is pretty unique. Even if they don't know you too well, they'll introduce themselves and get to know you.
Q: What piece of advice would you give a young person about being successful in life?
A: You always have to be focused. Do not let anyone deter you from your dreams. If you want to do something, keep that goal in mind when making decisions. If you stay focused and build toward your goal you'll be able to accomplish when you set out to do.
Q: Is there a piece of advice that someone has given that has inspired you?
A: Definitely. It's not what happens to you, but how you respond to it. That has absolutely stuck in my head. Everybody goes through adversity in life, so no matter what happens to you people are going to look at how you respond to it. I definitely keep that in mind in everything that I do, on the field here and away from it.