There are three things you need to remember this week: 1) the new Madden is out 2) it’s Fantasy Football draft time, and 3) you should definitely have Denver Broncos’ rookie wide receiver Cody Latimer on your team. Back in May, we had the rare opportunity to spend the hours leading up to Draft Day in New York City with Cody. The Indiana alum’s excitement over his first trip to the city and his anticipation of being a first-time NFL player was infectious.
I followed up with Cody last month right before Broncos training camp kicked off. Now that he’s had some time to reflect on his NFL experiences so far, we can get a little more candid in true Bevel Code style. Everyone wonders what it’s like to catch passes from Peyton Manning, but only a select few will ever actually experience this. Keep your eye on this rookie and his first season (yes, add him to your Fantasy Football lineup).
Bevel Code: Can you tell us about your distinctive haircut from Draft Day and how you decided to shave the line into the fade? Are you going to change it up now?
Cody Latimer: I actually have a mohawk now. I got it during the rookie mini camp or so when I first got to Denver. I always wear it low cut and super tight–I put that line in my hair just to be different. I’ve seen different people with different lines, so I thought I’d go with something different versus the straight one.
BC: What about your facial hair game?
Cody Latimer: Yeah, I’ve got a beard growing out now. I used to have to get my hair cut every other day and was spending too much time on it, so I decided to let it grow out. It was just a moustache and now the look is all coming together. The first time I shaved, I think I was in middle school and I used to try to line myself up with women’s shaving razors [laughs] but I’ve used a single-blade razor ever since high school. A multi-blade razor, you know, is just not right for my hairstyle.
BC: If you had first overall pick in your own fantasy football draft, who would it be?
Cody Latimer: For me, that would be Peyton Manning.
BC: Training camp is just kicking off for you. What are you looking forward to the most?
Cody Latimer: Just getting the offense down and getting on the field, being able to establish myself and play on the field in the pre-season.
BC: Word on the street is that you’re the man to beat at Madden. What team do you usually play the game with these days? In the past, you’ve mentioned you usually go with the Eagles, but now that you’re a Bronco…
Cody Latimer: I used to play Madden with Cam [Newton] and different kinds of running quarterbacks in the game. I play with a whole bunch of guys, running back, quarterback, receiver, anyone. I just started playing with a couple of the rookies, but usually I just play online or against the computer.
BC: You’ve mentioned that you’re also an avid bowler. Any other hidden talents up your sleeve?
Cody Latimer: It’d have to be bowling and cutting hair. I was actually cutting hair back in high school. I learned from a guy I knew in school, then I started cutting hair in college and it became a talent of mine. I’m good with designs, too, but not many people get them now. When it was hot, it was good, but people want fades and mohawks now.
BC: Looking back at the draft now, how much of a role do you think media plays in draft tick? For example, you started as a mid-round pick and climbed the ranks to be project as a top 20 by the time the draft started. What do you think happened?
Cody Latimer: I mean, that’s the media for you. They hear things and they just run for it. Nobody knows what’s really going on, so they just take it. You can listen to it, but you never know what’s really gonna happen until it happens.
BC: What’s it like to be catching passes from Peyton Manning? What have you learned so far in your time with him and others like like Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker?
It’s actually amazing, having that one solid quarterback. Peyton’s been throwing these perfect passes, and it’s great seeing him make plays. Watching Demaryius and learning his routine and what he does, plus learning from Peyton, who is so smart…it comes down to knowing you have to stay in that playbook and be ready to play.
BC: You played both basketball and football through high school, so at what point in your life did you pick between the two? Do you remember the moment when you realized, “This is it for me?”
Cody Latimer: Actually, I do. It was in high school, and it was kind of hard to decide, but I had a gut feeling and felt like I had a better shot at football. We went to state [championships] my junior year but my senior year was the ultimate decision year.
BC: You can trade places with anyone for 48 hours. Who is it, and why?
There are a lot of people I’d like to trade places with, but I’d probably go with my favorite basketball player, Kobe Bryant. I wish my body could take over his mind…he just goes into work every day and he’s one of the great players, so I’d love to be one of the greats, just to see what he does every day. Or I would go with…Bill Gates.
BC: If you traded bodies with Bill Gates, that would definitely be the fastest 40-yard dash he’s ever run. Do you have a victory touchdown dance you’ve been secretly practicing this summer?
Cody Latimer: Naw, I haven’t even been thought about that yet. I’ve been studying the playbook all summer, so I figure that will come naturally.
BC: What team are you most excited to play against this season?
Cody Latimer: Our first pre-season game is against the Seahawks, so it’s like a Super Bowl rematch. Good defense, and they’re a good team. I want to see how much our team has evolved in a year and how we’ll compete against them. [Editors Note: The Broncos prevailed over the Seahawks in their pre-season opener earlier this month, 21–16]
BC: Do you have any pre-game rituals and/or superstitions?
Cody Latimer: Yup, I pray. I thank the Lord for letting me play at the end of the day and then I listen to slow jams. Like, ‘90s R&B Keith Sweat slow jams.
BC: You’re from Ohio. Fast forward to five years from now—who’s getting the keys to Cleveland, Johnny Football or King James? How do you feel about LeBron’s return?
Cody Latimer: Of course it’s gonna be King James, and I’m happy for his return. He wants to bring it back to Ohio and it’s a strong decision on his part and he didn’t care what the critics say. I say, give him a championship.
BC: What lessons from your parents do you take with you every day?
Be humble and attack every day like it’s your last.
BC: Finally, we have to know…have your friends been trying to hit you up for Fantasy Football insider tips?
Cody Latimer: I’ve seen it all on Twitter with people asking who they should draft, but I don’t respond—I don’t worry about that right now.