Yet you graduated with a 3. 46 GPA. Were
your parents proud?
This is why my parents came to this
country — so we could get an education.
With me graduating and becoming
an Academic All-American, my dad
says these are the things that make
Happier about academics than your
record on the playing field?
I’d say he was, yes, because it really
was his major objective in coming to
America in the first place.
What about you? Do Academic All-
American and National Championships
Academic All-American is a great
individual achievement for me, and I
thank God for it. I’m happy that the Lord
has put me in the position where I could
get that. As for football, it’s a big team
where a bunch of people have invested
their time and their hearts. The two
things are stand-alone different, but both
are important to me.
Where do you get the strength to achieve
on so many levels?
It’s from the faith I have in God and the
way my parents raised me. Sometimes
things don’t seem to be going your way,
but God is in control and God knows what
is going to happen. I have faith that he
has a purpose for me.
That brings us back to your plans for
your country, perhaps with a break
for some NFL years before you begin
I’ve experienced a lot of good fortune
for someone my age, but especially at
times when things weren’t going well,
I found out that really the things that
matter are helping other people and not
thinking of yourself. It brings joy to my
life and makes me happy.
As you look back, what is your
most cherished memory from your
Playing football with my brother
[Cyrus Kouandjio, former Bama offensive
tackle, now playing for the Buffalo Bills].
Arie sits down for a quick interview with Carolanne Roberts.