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Original Issue

Willis McGahee


On his love of limes

Everyone drinks lemonade, but growing up in Miami, I made limeade instead. People thought it was crazy, but it was so good. And I love Key lime pie. In Buffalo I have to go to a restaurant like Red Lobster to get it. When they put that strawberry sauce on the side of Key lime pie? Mmmm, mmmmm. Love it.

On his passion for bowling

I started playing consistently last year. My brother [Eugene Poole] got me into it. There's always this competition between us. We started looking for an edge, so we bought our own balls and shoes. I score around a 174. I only get to bowl now around twice a month, but we'll hit the lanes in Miami in the off-season.

On tearing three ligaments in his knee in the Jan. 3, 2003, national championship game while playing for Miami

It was devastating. It happened so quick. I just couldn't believe that it could happen to me. Especially during my last college game. But I always try and turn a negative into a positive. I wasn't ready at the time of the combine, six weeks later, but a few weeks after that, I could jog and catch some balls so I could do a little something for teams before the draft. [The Bills took him 23rd overall.] Things have turned out pretty positive for me since.

On the tattoo on his neck that says GUESS WHO'S BACK

After I sat out my whole first season, 2003, in Buffalo [recovering from his injury], people questioned if I'd ever return. I knew I would. I was working out and feeling good. I got the tattoo in Miami before the '04 season.

On the best active back out of Miami--him, Clinton Portis or Edgerrin James

Me. I had the best single season [1,753 yards as a Hurricane in 2002], so they would have to agree. I talk to those Miami guys all the time but not about that stuff. We don't throw stats in each other's faces. We just keep it cool.

On losing his brother Kishara to colon cancer

I was still in elementary school. He was a teenager. It affected me when it happened. But it devastated my mother. He was her child--that would devastate anyone.

On his mother, Jannie Jones

She worked for Dade County Transit. We have these trains in Miami that run through the city. They're like subways but above ground. She would run them, and I would ride with her. I talk to her all the time. That's who raised me. Without her I wouldn't have life.

On having seven 100-yard games last year and three this year

I thank God for that. Someone up there has my back. It's harder this year. They're stacking guys up in the box on me. Guys want to take me down, but I ain't going to let it happen. All I want to do this season is do better than I did last season. Both teamwise and individually.

--As told to Lisa Altobelli