HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – For former Michigan State offensive tackle A.J. Arcuri, it was a long wait to figure out his path to the NFL.
He spent six years at Michigan State, and as the 2022 NFL Draft rolled on, he would not hear his name called until the second-to-last pick.
The wait proved to be worth it when he was selected by the defending Super Bowl champion Rams with the 261st pick.
"It was surreal," Arcuri said during his video conference following his selection. "I'm fired up about this opportunity. It's something you dream about as a child, so just having my name called, it's something I'll remember for the rest of my life."
Like some of his draft classmates, Arcuri offers positional versatility the Rams value. He started the first eight games of the 2021 season at right tackle before starting the remaining five at left tackle.
He indicated he's comfortable playing either position.
"I would say they're very much the same," Arcuri. "If somebody asked me, you get to decide which position you play, I'd probably just flip a coin."
Arcuri was the latest Big Ten addition to a Rams offensive line that includes former Wisconsin standouts David Edwards and Rob Havenstein and former Michigan State standout Brian Allen, whom he already knows having been roommates with his younger brother Matthew at Michigan State.
"I think it's awesome there's a lot of former Big Ten offensive lineman in that room," Arcuri said. "I'm just ready for this opportunity. I'm going to go out there and compete and do the best I can to provide value and find my place, find my home."
Whatever position that may be, he feels well-prepared for it based on his Big Ten background.
"I think the Big Ten is definitely a strong league," Arcuri said. "You go against great d-linemen every week, so I think that's played a huge role in preparing me for this next opportunity ahead."