Joe Gaiter: What does football mean to me?
Shaundre Mims: Football is everything to me. My mom got me started at the age of 4. She signed me up to play on a youth flag football team. I became the star running back. I remember running my first touchdown and the crowd went crazy. That sound became addictive to me, I thought I was superman, lol. I immediately fell in love with the game, as I got older I was able to see how I could use it to my advantage. My mom always told me “to give my very best with anything I put my hands on” and it has paid off for me. Football is the reason why I’m here at Charleston Southern earning a free education while being able to play the sport that I love. Football is my “happy place”. When I work out and practice it’s like a stress reliever for me, something I thoroughly enjoy doing.
Joe Gaiter: Where did I grow up and how was my child hood?
Shaundre Mims: I grew up in a small town called Vanceboro, NC . We have a population of appx 1000 people. My childhood was ok, my dad was absent in my life at the age of 7, he was gone for 11 years so my mom raised my brother and I on her own. She’s a hard worker and she literally bust her butt to make sure my brother and I had the things we needed and wanted. She taught me about working hard, treating others like I wanted to be treated and keeping God first. It pays off. She’s one of the strongest women I know and I credit her for instilling in me values that have gotten me where I am today.
Joe Gaiter: What are your fondest memories about West Craven?
Shaundre Mims: I have a lot of fond memories about West Craven, but the best times were spent with my close friends and “football brothers” we had an undeniable brotherhood and a bond that will never ever break. One of my fondest memories was during my senior year we beat the odds and defeated our hometown rivalry team Havelock High school. I will always cherish that victory.
Joe Gaiter: Tell us about your recruitment experience at West Craven.
Shaundre Mims: I had a lot of college coaches coming to see me at West Craven High school during my junior and senior year: Appalachian State, East Carolina University, Campbell, Chowan, A&T, and Fayetteville State.
Joe Gaiter: Why did you choose Charleston Southern University?
Shaundre Mims: I chose Charleston Southern University because they were the only school to reach out to me EVERY SINGLE DAY. They made me feel like I was the missing link to their program, that missing puzzle . They pulled out all the stops when it came to making me feel “good” about them. I received calls and texts daily from the head coach checking in on me, making sure I was ok, asking me how my day was, and just letting me know he genuinely cared about me . To be honest they went above and beyond when it came to communication. I had never experienced that type of attention from any other school. I was invited to a football camp in 2016. My mom drove me down for the day and at the end of the camp they gave my an offer, right there on the field. My mom had a few questions for the coach, that was during the time they had just had the shooting downtown Charleston She asked him, “How do I know my baby will be safe here” coach looked my mom in her eyes and told her, “Ma’am you have absolutely nothing to worry about, we are like a big family, you have my word he is in good hands and I will look out for him and make sure he’s safe. It’s a brother hood here, where one goes we all go”. In that moment I knew Charleston was where I would call home.
Joe Gaiter: What has been your contribution to the team this year?
Shaundre Mims: I think collectively the team has hit some major milestones with our DLine. We had a change in leadership, that taught us new formations, and our defensive line worked hard together, put in the work, and delivered in a major way by breaking records as a group and individually. I lead the team in solo sacks this year and also broke the school record. Hard work truly does pay off and collectively our DLine put in the work.
Joe Gaiter: Do you feel the DLine get the respect it deserves?
Shaundre Mims: I feel like we are definitely opening eyes and putting teams on notice. If they didn’t respect us before. They definitely know our names after last year’s season.
Joe Gaiter: Tell us about gameday at CSU?
Shaundre Mims: Game day at CSU is like an “all day adrenaline rush” until we hit that field. We have a schedule that we follow up until the time we walk out of the fieldhouse. Everybody is focused, ready to play their position, and do their part to deliver a win for Charleston.
Joe Gaiter: What is my relationship like with head Coach Autry Denson and the coaching staff?
Shaundre Mims: We have a great relationship with Coach Denson and the coaching staff. He is a true man of God. He expects greatness on the field and in the classroom. I have a high level of respect for the entire coaching staff.
Joe Gaiter: How do you get into the head of your opponents?
Shaundre Mims: While I’m out there on the field I don’t do a whole lot of trash talking. I’m more of an “actions” type of guy. I let my game speak for itself.
Joe Gaiter: What has been my biggest accomplishment?
Shaundre Mims: My biggest accomplishment so far in life has been earning a four your full football scholarship. My mom was so thrilled and happy when she found out.
Joe Gaiter: Tell us about your covid-19 grind workouts?
Shaundre Mims: This pandemic has been really stressful for a lot of us, but I find my happy place in working out. I work out about 5 days a week, sometimes alone, sometimes with a couple of friends and of course we practice social distancing. My work out consists of speed and agility drills, footwork, technique, and explosiveness.
Joe Gaiter: What do I want my legacy to be?
Shaundre Mims: When they hear my name I want them to say, “that kid was a record breaker, hard worker, had a phenomenal work ethic, and always gave his very best…”
Joe Gaiter: Is it hard being a student athlete?
Shaundre Mims: I wouldn’t say it’s hard. It can be challenging at times because you have to learn how to balance everything but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Joe Gaiter: What game are you most looking forward in playing next season?
Shaundre Mims: I’m looking forward to every game on our schedule. It’s just another opportunity I get to show the world what I have to offer.
Joe Gaiter: How important has faith been in your journey?
Shaundre Mims: Faith is my journey. It is the foundation of who I am as a person. I think we all have had naysayers in life, doubting our abilities. My mom raised me to believe that I can do anything I put my mind to as long as I work hard and keep God first. I acknowledge him in everything I do, because I know if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here today. My mom tells me all the time I’m a walking testimony. God covered me in that head on collision and he protected my family through that fire. I credit my mom for instilling it in me, faith is all we know.