Have you stayed in touch with Ralph Friedgen or anyone else from that staff during your college days?

Yeah, once in a blue moon I do talk to Coach Friedgen. Just catching up and asking about his wife, Gloria, and how everything’s going. Obviously they still see me on TV and I’ll get text messages here and there that say, “Keep up the good job” and “Love watching you” and stuff like that.

When I retired I got text messages from just about everybody I ever played with from pee wee league all the way up to the pros.

When you look back at your time in College Park, is there a particular memory that stands out above the others?

Uh, yeah. (Laughs.) One in particular is the first time I got a chance to play on ESPN against Georgia Tech and when the “Lights Out” dance was kind of born. It got me yanked off the field by Coach Friedgen. I’m glad he did it as a discipline, but we didn’t get a penalty for it.

It’s kind of the birth of the “Lights Out" dance, so I’ll never forget that.

Speaking of that dance, is there ever an occasion where you have the urge to break that out again, or is that also retired?

(Laughs.) I have urges – trust me. Especially when I see a good play on the field when I’m watching a game and somebody lights somebody up. I just want to jump up and give it to him one time.

But when I’m walking down the street anywhere in the country, somebody will say, “Hey Lights Out, do the dance,” and I just start laughing because it’s not something that I just easliy break out.

But if I get excited enough, it comes.

You’re going to be holding your coat drive again before Saturday’s game at Byrd Stadium. It seems incredible that this is your 11th year doing it. Are you amazed by how successful it’s been [20,000 coats and counting]?

You know what, I’m not surprised, I’m more thankful. There have been some very, very good people who have been involved in that event for the last 11 years. To be able to make partnerships like “Good Morning America” and PETA and Burlington Coat Factory, all these people have been a part of it for the last 11 years, and the University of Maryland for all the support and backing … it means a lot to me because of the situation that I used to be in.

I’m only 29, so when I say 11 years it sounds like a long time, but I have a long time still to go. I’m hoping for another 11 years that are just as successful.

And remind readers why this is so important to you and why you came up with this idea?

Yeah, I grew up in a very unfortunate situation. I grew up in [Prince George’s] County, and I always said that if I was in a position to give back and help somebody not go through a winter without a winter coat, then I would.

I was left with two homes burning down and forced to live in shelters and couldn’t afford a winter coat at that time, so I know what it’s like and I want to make sure that no one else experiences it.