In a few weeks, college campuses across the country will be milling with freshman, eager to start their college career. On Monday, the University of California Irvine welcomed an entirely different group of newcomers: the Los Angeles Rams' rookie class.
The Rams' rookies reported to their first NFL training camp throughout the day, zipping through UC Irvine's Campus Village on golf carts packed with luggage. Among the group of newcomers is center Brian Allen, defensive end John Franklin-Myers, both fourth round picks in this year's draft, as well as running back John Kelly and defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day.
Here is what they had to say ahead of their first NFL training camp:
What did you take from mini-camp and OTAs? "Digesting the playbook — that whole first wave of being here — that was the biggest thing that had to happen. You know, then being away and having that time to reflect on it. I think I'll be better now that I'm here and have that under my belt, repping the playbook and being around the guys in the o-line room."
What's it like coming into camp after all the big additions? "It's just a learning curve. You get a chance to learn from Michael Brockers, from Aaron Donald, from [Ndamukong] Suh. And you just learn so much, it's kind of hard to grasp it all. But I think that's the point of being here, is the chance to work with those guys and learn from them, and make my game that much better so I can help the team."
Any jitters, nervousness for the first day of camp? "I don't think I'm nervous. I think I'm more excited and anxious for the opportunity. That's all you can ask for is an opportunity, and I try to make the most of mine."
Does it feel different approaching your first pro camp vs. a college camp? "Oh yeah, for sure. Being in college, you're so used to that kind of lifestyle. And now, this is going to be a complete different ballgame. So I'm going to be a sponge, I'm going to learn as much as I can. I'm going to stick around the vets, stick around the guys who do it right — guys like Suh, like Brockers. Just soak up as much information as I can to give myself the best opportunity to perform."
Gotten any advice/words of wisdom from guys? "It's a grind, man. It's a grind each and every day. Get ready to bring your lunch bucket and get to work. So I'm excited. I feel like Rutgers did a good job preparing me in that kind of aspect, that every day is a grind. So, obviously, the NFL is a whole different ball game. But I'm excited, man. I'm excited to get to work."
What do you think you can add to practices, whether it's personality wise or skillset? "Oh, enthusiasm. I feel like consistently every day, I go in with the same attitude, with a positive attitude to bring up anybody that's kind of feeling drowsy or whatever before practice. So I feel like I'm going to bring a great, positive attitude every day."
Are you looking forward to working with Todd Gurley? "Oh yeah. TG's going to be... I can't wait. I like competing with TG. We've got some good running backs in our room so I'm excited to get back with these guys and get to work."