A Clearer Picture

Episode 18 – Rookie Showcase 3

A one on one interview with Isaiah King III and Daniel Valentine

Clear – Welcome back to A Clearer Picture, the interview series uncovering the stories behind the stars of the SFL. This is part three of my rookie showcase series uncovering the stories behind some of the biggest stars in the upcoming rookie class. In the first two showcases, we looked at four players on the offensive side of the ball, so it is now time to cross over to some of the biggest defensive prospects going! Welcome in free safety Isaiah King III and corner Daniel Valentine! How are you guys this evening?

King – Doing great man, how are you, Jacob?

Valentine – Doing well!

Clear – I am well! It is a pleasure to have you both on. First, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?

King – I am a 19-year-old college student from Dallas Texas whose love, and passion is for the game of football. IK3 is a great team player who does whatever it takes to win.

Valentine – I am from San Jose, California and since 2013 I have been working with an eSports organization based here, my interests are football (go Niners) and League of Legends (go Thresh!) My character Daniel “Vicious” Valentine is currently a corner for the Albuquerque Atoms, and also known as the SFLm’s bad boy and most violent hitter who throws his body at receivers with reckless abandon!

Clear – What brought you both to the SFL, and how did the league find you?

King – Previously had already found the SFL by Googling sim leagues and initially just looked around it but then later joined again and loved the concept so I created my player.

Valentine – One of my friends of over 10+ years, Keenan Samuels, was playing in this and invited a bunch of us to play, I joined around the same time as many of my long-time friends – Ronnie Renfro, Bryant James, Kenny Slider to name a few.

Clear – Awesome! What made you decide to play defense; free safety and corner specifically?

King – Well usually I play receiver, but I decided since in real life I also played free safety to give it a go.

Valentine – I have always liked the idea of being able to rock someone man, other people wanted touchdowns, I wanted to dig graves you know? Every time I lay down a big hit, I want them to look in my eyes and remember my face, so they have a chance at revenge in the next life. I begged my coaches to let me max my progress on “tackle” every week, but they advised me that it would not be a good idea.

Clear – How has the minor league experience been like for you, and how would you rate your respective teams and their locker rooms?

King – Man our locker room is outstanding. I want my pro team to be as like Salt Lake as possible; it’s all love and great things in the locker room from the staff to the players. It’s great to have a team like that.

Valentine – It has been a blast, the Atoms season ended unfortunately a game shy of the championship but I still had a lot of fun. I met a bunch of cool people on the roster and really enjoyed getting the chance to share a locker room and bond with them. We had the most awesome coaches that supported us through everything and gave motivational speeches (Think William Wallace in “Braveheart”).

Clear – Who do you get along well with within your locker room, and who do you credit your success to in your development as a player?

King – Frankie Kuster, Jahrad Brodie, Kenny Slider, Tommy “Gunn” Utah, Terrell Southerland to name a few. We are all very tight. I credit our success and development to the staff and players for the plans and being consistent.

Valentine – I would say I got along the best with safety Ronnie Renfro and tight end Pauly Truth, because I’ve known them for years. Besides them I think I bonded with everyone on the “Boom Squad” (our secondary), so Dante Grimm and Don Fletcher as well. You know, money is tight in the minor league so for a lot of our away games the four of us would sleep in the same hotel room, at the time it was torture and made me feel claustrophobic, but those are memories I will cherish forever. Late nights just playing video games on a 27-inch TV, gossiping, telling ghost stories. I am going to miss it a lot. I would credit my success to all of my coaches; they’ve looked out for me and taught me the right things since day one. I would like to also give tons of credit to my teammates; I gave it 110% every time I stepped on that field because I was ready to kill and die for my brethren standing beside me.

Clear – Tell us, what will you both bring to an SFL team?

King – On the field, a hard-hitting ball hawk safety, and off the field a guy who is friendly, loves to chat and is dedicated to his team.

Valentine – I might not have the best stats or attributes but I have the biggest heart man (metaphorically speaking, my heart is normal sized), I’m built different, I’m cut from a different cloth, I played football with BRICKS. I did not touch a real football until I was 14 years old. I also always put the team and teammates first, I do not believe in glory for self-man, everyone in the city of Albuquerque knows I left my all on that field every game.

Clear – Finally, what does the future hold for Daniel Valentine and Isaiah King, and do you have any words of wisdom to share before we conclude?

King – I hope to be drafted in the first round in the S17 SFL rookie draft and impact my new team immediately on and off the field and continue doing mock drafts and podcasts with Ashley Jackson and others. Finally shout out to my team and coaches; without your showtime I would be a nobody, all love.

Valentine – Right now I am just taking it easy, I suffered various injuries this season (played through them all). Shout out to my boys Bryant James, Josh Ramsey, Josh Slapp on San Jose and my boy Kenny Slider on Salt Lake City! After that I will talk with my coaches in Albuquerque and start getting back in the lab and weight room and start getting ready for next season. Final words would be a shoutout to all my friends and teammates and coaches, you guys made this a really great experience for me and thank you to everyone who puts in work helping the league and doing media and stuff! See you guys!!

Clear – Thank you very much guys!

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