Khallid Pierce is a defensive lineman for Bethany College. After taking a year off, Khallid is looking to have a statement season as a junior on the team. In his freshman season, he accumulated 38 tackles — 13 tackles for a loss — and five sacks.
Khallid took time to speak with myself and Locker Room Update about his career background in football, as well as his aspirations in the sport. Check it out!
When did you first fall in love with playing football?
When I first came to Youngstown, Ohio in 2005-2006, the oppression and the struggle was for me especially heading into my mid teenage years. The area I was around you did not have much of anything, and what you did have you had to be cherished at all times because we knew it wouldn’t last. When I was introduced to American football I was in the streets and everything in my life was in a total mess but I was just trying to survive. Football gave me my only way out, but even when I noticed that was way out of the current oppression, I didn’t know how good I was and would become. The contact I got to receive at all aspects of the game calmed my inner rage and focused me back into trying to be something special. I fell in love the more I went, the more I practiced on and off the field… I fell deep.
Who was your role model in football when you were growing up, and who was your role model outside of the sport during your childhood?
My role models had to be the environment I was living in because every day I woke up, I had to push for something greater than myself and my surroundings. The chosen few who had that glow of being able to make it in ball inspired me, the ones who lost the glow, the elders who painfully reminisced on their shot and everyone who turned on them. Inspired me! I knew just as well as others who played alongside of me, or saw the carnage of what the environment did to athletes who struggled in a systematic oppressed situation. We could be next to fall or be the ones to make it through.
What’s the most inspirational or powerful thing a coach has ever said to you?
Two coaches: 1.) Joe Paterno, late head football coach at The Pennsylvania State University told me at what we didn’t know what would be his last Ohio State vs. Penn State Rivalry game: “Khallid, I don’t know you much but I do know you have a special vibe to you. Win the day EVERYDAY, no matter how hard it is, or how many times you fall down in one day WIN IT.” 2.) Kevin Cylar, professional fitness instructor & my mentor told me: “Black Mamba will be your name from here on. I see what you can do and I’m just waiting….. What you gone do? You different!!! So be what you are.”
Why choose Bethany College?
In all honesty, I didn’t have the major grades or look to support my gorgeous play in football, but I still worked hard and Bethany pursued me for some reason extra hard.
More than anyone around me. The current head coach Bill Garvey, told me never forget who accepted you before everyone shoots their game at you. I talked to the Universal God one night and from that talk on Bethany was the place I needed to be.
Who in the NFL do you see as a role model for what you want to accomplish in football, and why?
I see Michael Vick as my number one influence and role model on why I even have so much love for my ups & downs in this game. Mike came in the game the most wanted be, whether it was to hate, love, or both HE WAS THE MAN. He stood for a symbol in the hoods & slums for what I can say from the V7 experience, he gave us mad hope and always showed love back for the people. He shows the power to comeback from any judgement, negative decisions, and from the bottom to the top BACK to the bottom and right back on top again. I don’t EVER plan on having a slump but if so I’ll just say “Khallid stop it, get slick on em like Mike Vick.”
If an NFL scout were to walk up to you and give you ten seconds to sell yourself, what would you say?
“Sir I know you don’t know me but I know you, and I can promise you on my life! I will NOT be stopped. Ever. So if we may do so please now is the time to build.”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I clearly see myself owning and running one or more BLACK owned businesses for every human but empowering and supporting the oppressed African bloodline. While doing so I would have two degrees under my belt and plenty of opportunity to work for many cool people in my fields but most likely will be playing overseas and doing some charity and field work with my degree globally.
And to close, what’s the most important thing about you off the field that makes you a better player on the field?
The most important thing about myself off the gridiron is the fact when I say I am unapologetic I am UNAPOLOGETIC for the love of my skin, my race, our history, our existence, our failures and our positives. I care about it all, so deep it hurts sometimes when I see the effects of post-traumatic slave syndrome situations where if blacks were the guilty party I know how and why it came to be so gory, NOT including the privileged or professionals African decedents. I don’t care what people think of me, as long as I’m peaceful and work towards that ultimate peace goal I DO NOT CARE. I’m no savior or anything special in my eyes, I just know my true purpose and as unique as I am built I love it all no matter what.