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Antonio Callaway: 'I take responsibility for everything'

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By now, the football world is well aware of Antonio Callaway's off-field transgressions. On Wednesday, the former Florida wideout said he's taken a big step toward putting all of those behind him.

In an interview with NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, Callaway admitted to wrongdoings, including smoking marijuana "several" weeks prior to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, but said the birth of his daughter on Feb. 7 has changed everything for him.

"The main thing is, I take responsibility for everything I caused on myself, the things that could've been avoided," Callaway said. "And the birth of my daughter [Aulani Callaway], she changed my point of view on life. On everything. I'm just letting teams know I'm coming to work when I get the chance."

Callaway's issues are lengthy, with his diluted combine drug test sample (which he says was unintentional) the latest. There's a sexual assault allegation (of which he was eventually cleared), a misdemeanor marijuana citation, and involvement in a credit-card scam that resulted in a season-long suspension on his rap sheet.

Yet Callaway said he's a changed man. Most of that has to do with his daughter. The rest has to do with a budding relationship with the league's best receiver, Antonio Brown.

Callaway told Rapoport the Steelers wideout has given him guidance on how to turn his life around before and after this weekend's NFL draft.

"He's taking me under his wing, like a little brother," Callaway said. "His message was, there's too much opportunity there for me to be messing up and I gotta change now that I'm a father. It ain't too much about athletics, just really about life and how you have to make good decisions."

There's no denying Callaway's on-field talents. He had 89 catches for 1,399 yards and eight scores in two seasons with the Gators, and he tore up the combine with a time of 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a 34-inch vertical jump and a 121-inch broad jump. The question is, can he put aside his off-field problems to make sure he's available to contribute between the white lines on Sundays?

Callaway certainly thinks so.

"I'm the best receiver in the draft -- all the coaches know," he said. "They know what they'll be getting. I'm also mature and getting better every day to be a man and a father."

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