DAVIE — Cordrea Tankersley made his first career start last week against the Saints in New Orleans. It was Tankersley’s NFL debut, as he was inactive the first two weeks. Tankersley is humble, hard-working and plays a physical brand of cornerback. He also constantly teases the defensive backs around him about how they don’t have a national championship ring, like he earned at Clemson. Tankersley’s locker is right next two Xavien Howard, and they may be Miami’s youthful future at corner. Here’s a Friday conversation with Tankersley:
What’s it like in your hometown of Beech Island, South Carolina?
Well, there is definitely no beach. We have water. But there is no beach. It’s home. It’s a low country. Not a lot of people. Definitely no beach. It’s B-E-E-C-H.
Is there anything I can do if I ever go there?
No, there is nothing. Unless you go to the Masters, at Augusta. It’s like 15 minutes from my house.
Ever go there as a kid?
I actually worked there my junior year. I made $1,500 just to make sandwiches.
Three dollar sandwiches?
Yeah they’re real famous. It’s cucumbers and they cut the crust off. I did that for like a week.
Editor’s note: The most popular sandwiches at the Masters are egg salad and pimiento, each available for $1.50.
High character guys. Respectful guys. Humble guys. I feel I fit those attributes. I latch on to those type of people.
You actually played at Hard Rock Stadium in college?
Three times. I won two Orange Bowls here. And I caught my first interception for a touchdown against the Miami Hurricanes. It was Malik Rosier. Brad Kaaya was hurt.
What’s been the most challenging moment of your life?
The hardest thing was dealing with the death of my grandmother. She was the glue of my family. Just having her pass away last year, took a toll on us. Losing her. I know she’s smiling because she knows more about football than anybody in this locker room.
You were saying it’s somebody’s birthday today?
Yeah, it’s my girlfriend’s birthday. And my son’s birthday is next week. He’s going to be one. Man, it helps me grinds really, really hard. At Clemson, before he was born, I had no picks and maybe five tackles. As soon as he was born I had four interceptions. And I just started playing at a high level. It’s not about me. It’s about having that mouth to feed.
What’s his name?
Cameron. Like Wake.
Did you know Cameron’s real name is Derek?
I definitely did not know that. I have to talk to him about that… Really?
Guessing you’re not surprised by DeShaun Watson’s success against Tennessee?
I went home and sat and watched the game. He dominated. I’m not surprised. Because that’s what he’s been doing since he was little.
Best dressed rookie?
Worse dressed rookie?
I’d say Charles Harris. I haven’t seen him dress up. He is so quiet. That is my dude, though.
He’s got Cam (Wake), Andre (Branch), William (Hayes) over there. Do you need to keep your mouth shut as a rookie?
I have been quiet all my life. I’m not the mouthy type. But I had to learn to speak up at Clemson. Here, I just follow.
I see you were a track star in high school?
The sprints. The 200. I could open it up. We have some guys that can fly. Torry McTyer can fly. Jakeem (Grant) of course. But I would give all these guys a run for the money. Jakeem over Kenny Stills, for sure. That jokester can fly.
So you have your girlfriend and son with birthdays. Who should come play at your party? In the backyard?
You can’t go wrong with Migos. You know. You can’t go wrong with a rap group like that.
Have you and Xavien Howard ever have any conversations about what the future could hold?
We definitely have those conversations, all the time. Of course they drafted him last year and me this year. We talk about the bright future. We talk about how everybody is going to test us, because we’re young. But that’s what we expect. Got to start somewhere. We encourage each other. We have fun playing the game.