He was benched starting the next game, a loss at Arkansas.

“It’s tough,” he said. “I think I handled it well. It could be rough on somebody that’s mentally weak, but my parents have done a good job with me. I’m a strong person, strong minded. Really don’t let it get to you, ignore it and get better.”

He said he returned to the pass-firing machine the next day to practice catching passes.

“You’re not going to sit on the ground all day,” he said. “I’m working for my dream still.”

He’ll always have that crowd-surfing moment. It’s the background on his Twitter page. A couple of former school principals from his hometown has the now famous photo - him atop dozens of hands - hanging from their office wall.

“That was a really fun moment,” he said. “Like I said, life will knock you down as well. It’s important to get back up.”

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.