By early August of 2021, Jeremiah Kolone had entered the San Diego police academy, preparing for life beyond football.
Today, he's a Super Bowl champion coming off his first NFL start.
That means Kolone is simultaneously a story of patience and perseverance, as well as the center – quite literally – of a Los Angeles Rams offense that is doing everything it can to persevere while the fan base is losing patience.
The soon-to-be 28-year-old from San Diego, by way of American Samoa and Hawaii, has been with the organization on and off since 2018, when he signed as a college free agent out of San Jose State.
At the time, he was coming off a season-ending injury that not only ended his time as a Spartan, but he feared would end his football career, as well.
"I for sure thought that could've been my last game," Kolone said of his broken fibula and full complement of torn ligaments.
Instead, Kolone has been with the Rams each of the past five training camps. And he has been cut at the conclusion of each of those summers, too.
He'd been active only once – Week 14 of last season at Arizona, as omicron ravaged the locker room before Monday Night Football. Even then, he dressed but did not play.
But as injuries accumulated on the interior of the Rams line early in this 2022 campaign, Kolone was pressed into duty for the first time at San Francisco last week.
Then, he made his first career start in the loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Those are two of the best defenses in the league. The Rams have mustered just 19 points and one touchdown in those losses, combined.
"I've got to play better. I think I've just got to react a lot faster," Kolone said. "I'm learning."
After a closed-door, players-only meeting on Monday at the team facility, Kolone and the Rams linemen are hoping to shore things up in front of Matthew Stafford as they prepare for the Carolina Panthers.
But while current circumstances are frustrating, Kolone's journey might better be described as fulfilling. Check it out on this edition of Rams Revealed, available each week on YouTube as well as your preferred podcast platform.