Friend Rodney Peete Says Junior Seau Was Full of Life: “Never at any point did I feel that he had lost that”
Rodney Peete had known Junior Seau since Seau was only 19 years old, and the former USC teammates spoke every couple months until the very end. The two were also inducted into the USC Hall of Fame together in 2010. With Seau dying tragically Wednesday, Peete was forced to begin mourning the loss of a man he’d known more than half his life. Rodney Peete joined ESPN Radio in Los Angeles to talk about his college teammate, Junior Seau, who according to local authorities took his own life on Wednesday morning.
On Seau’s natural ability and willingness to participate early at USC:
“I remember him as a young freshman just coming in — and this was before he even started at SC — we had workouts and I would get my receivers out and running backs and we’d go work out in the summer. And he would always ask me — I’d see him lifting weights and he would always ask me, ‘Can I come out and work out with you guys?’ I said, ‘Well, it’s just really the offense, it’s the quarterback and receivers.’ ‘Alright, I want to cover.’ I said, ‘But we’ve got just receivers out there and you’re a linebacker.’ He said, ‘I’ll cover them.’ And he would go out, and he would cover them man to man, bump’n’run and would be all over them. That’s the kinda athlete he was — and he would do it with no shoes on.”
On Seau’s car accident:
“There was a lot of reports that that was an attempt (at suicide) and all that kind of stuff, and I talked to him and just wanted him to be real with me. He was like,’Hey, no man, I fell asleep and it was just one of those things where I ran off the side of the road and no big deal, and they make it out to be more than what it is.’ And I took him at his word. He’s Junior, and he’s one of those guys that, from the time in back in 1988, I could look him in the eye and say, ‘Be real with me,’ and he was real with me. … So I didn’t think anything of it. And I know he’s had some situations, and going through the divorce and all that kinda stuff going on, but never to the point it ruined his spirit or got him down or got him to the point where he thought that — this is a guy that was full of life all the time. And so never at any point did I feel that he had lost that.”