Antioch’s Travis “TJ” Carrie is a “New and Improved Raider”

TJ Carrie takes the time to take a selfie with a Raiders fan after a pre-season home game.

TJ Carrie takes the time to take a selfie with a Raiders fan after a pre-season home game. photo by F.D. Purcell

F.D. Purcell, Bay Area Sports Reporter

Antioch Herald

That is the quote on the Oakland Raiders’ second year player, Travis “TJ” Carrie’s Twitter page. Not many get the opportunity to play for their home team – selected in the 7th round, 219th overall in the 2014 draft – but this Antioch native is and he’s taking it all in stride. Carrie is accustomed to playing for a team that’s under the microscope having played at football powerhouse De La Salle. Carrie fell in love with the game watching his three older brothers and one younger brother.

It didn’t matter where the former ball boy played football: in the mud, concrete or street, as long as he played. That passion shows when he’s on the field breaking up plays on receivers or gunning for balls on special teams. It was that very foundation of family and passion that helped cultivate him to the solid young man he is on and off the field. And it shows on his social media pages which are flanked by motivating quotes, family, football and the love o his life fiance and college sweetheart Tyisha, who he’s set to marry next June.

Antioch Herald: What’s it like playing for the hometown team?

TJ Carrie: A tremendous blessing, tremendous opportunity that I was given and I’m having fun out there. I think that’s the biggest most exciting thing is being able to play in front of players you’ve watched and grown up with and there’s nothing better than having this opportunity.

AH: When you go into the season are there any goals you get for yourself?

TJ: Definitely. I always set goals and standards for myself. The #1 thing is to be a different player than I was last year. Growing and understanding that last year was a rookie season and coaches allow you to make a little more mistakes when you’re a rookie. Being able to come into a second season and take advantage of the opportunity and know that I have a tremendous amount of growth that I can excel to. That’s one of the biggest goals that I’ve had coming into this year.

AH: Since you’re from the area how do you deal with the ticket requests from family and friends? That comes out of your pocket.

TJ: I have a great family support system. That has definitely been something we had to talk about as a family. They are understanding and they understand the situation that I’m going to try to get everyone and we make the best of that opportunity but I break it up on a good system. I’m glad we’ve been able to get on the same page.

AH: What’s been that largest ticket request?

TJ: When I traveled to Cleveland last season it was about 35 with coaches and players I grew up with, aunts and uncles. It was probably one of the biggest ones I’ve had. It’s great to have them there at the game supporting me. It’s HUGE!

AH: Your family support is tremendous, talk about that.

TJ: My parents moved to Cleveland so they could be near me when I was in college and now I’m back out here (laugh). I have other family members here, but it’s a big homecoming when we play there, because my fiance is from there also.

AH: It’s crazy they’re gone but you have your fiance here, right?

TJ: Yes, and it’s crazy because before I was drafted were here visiting and she said, “Wouldn’t it be great to live here?” Now we’re here and planning to get married next June in Cleveland.

AH: I saw she did something great for your birthday?

TJ: (smiles) Yes we had a helicopter ride and we went to Napa. (You can view the photos on his Instagram page leon18_tj)

AH: Having attended De La Salle you know a thing or two about winning cultures. How do you apply that mindset on a professional level and do you set goals going into each season?

TJ: The biggest things those schools have given me are the traits I have today: dedication, working hard and discipline. All those things are lifestyle changes in itself and bringing them here is something that transforms you more into an athlete because this game is more mental than physical. High school and college experiences have shaped and carried me into this season.

AH: What would you be doing if you weren’t playing football?

TJ: I have my masters in coaching and education so coaching is definitely something I like to do. Something with kids, younger or high school and training them so they can be powerful, successful and helping them pave their future.

AH: What is your greatest Raiders memory thus far?

TJ: The moment it happened (getting drafted) and getting a call from then head coach Dennis Allen on draft day and thinking in my mind, “Wow, I’m going back home.” I’ve been away for so long but having this opportunity is a tremendous blessing to go back home and play the sport I love is really what’s the biggest memory for me and it still is today.

AH: Any final words to the Raider Nation?

TJ: Yes, I’m looking here to stay for the long-haul. You can depend on me and look for me to make some big things happen this year Raider Nation.

You can follow him on Twitter @tj_carrie and Instagram leon18_tj. Read more about him on his Wikipedia page here.

the attachments to this post:

TJ Carrie with fans

One Comment to “Antioch’s Travis “TJ” Carrie is a “New and Improved Raider””

  1. Loretta Sweatt says:

    Congratulations, wishing all the best there is!

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