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Teammates, coaches recall new 'Live' co-host Michael Strahan's days at TSU

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

There's a new face on morning TV after Kelly Ripa introduced her new co-host on 'Live' Tuesday morning. Houston native and former New York Giants football star Michael Strahan joined 'Live with Kelly and Michael.' It was not a really big surprise since the news leaked last week. Strahan said he's humbled and excited.

"You know how you say it's a dream come true, I truly can't say that because I didn't know I could even dream this," Strahan said on the show.

Strahan is a Houston native who spent most of his childhood on an Army base in Germany. For his senior year in high school he came back to Houston and played at Westbury High School, before starring for Texas Southern University.

But the lights, camera and action are quite different from Strahan's time spent on the football field during his senior year at Westbury High in 1988, and far from his days at TSU where he graduated back in 1993. Former teammates and staff call him a great athlete who, back then, was quiet.

"He'd be to himself," said former teammate Johnny Burrell.

"But he was the perfect sponge because he would absorb everything," said John Harvey, TSU athletic trainer.

But Strahan still had the same smile.

"That's kind of the way he would do it," Harvey said, with a big laugh.

Strahan's college coach and former Houston Oiler, Walter Highsmith, remembers how football was his focus.

"He only talked around people he knew. Like I said he was all about playing ball," Highsmith said.

He's still getting used to the television world.

"That's a new Michael that's on TV," said Highsmith.

His former coach and trainer had never seen this side of Strahan, so we decided to show them a few clips.

"He has broken out of his shell," Highsmith said.

And broken out of his pants in one segment.

"Michael, please don't show your tools to a national audience," said Harvey.

They've kept in contact with Strahan over the years, and as always, with this new role they wish him the best.

"You have shown us and really made us proud and I know you will continue to do that," Harvey said.

"That's a big role and I believe, and you know one thing about it, he will be the best at it," said Highsmith.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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