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Rookies Report to Kick Off 2012 Season
The long, grueling wait is finally over – Chargers football is back!
The 2012 season officially kicked off Sunday night as rookies reported for the start of training camp. While the simple act of showing up may seem mundane, there was a palpable electricity in the air as the day marked the culmination of lifelong aspirations of becoming a professional football player.
“This is a dream come true,” said first-round pick Melvin Ingram. “Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I feel like I’m in a dream.”
Still, each rookie knows that just because they’ve reached the NFL, that doesn’t mean they can start relaxing. If anything, they need to push themselves even further.
“I’ve had the dream of being out here since I was a kid,” said third-round pick Brandon Taylor. “But I’ve got to keep grinding and keep working because I’m not at the finishing point yet. I’ve got a long way to go to get to where I want to be. I’m looking forward to establishing an identity, and I hope I find it fast.”
Second-round pick Kendall Reyes echoed those sentiments, expressing his gratitude for being a Charger and a profound eagerness to prove he belongs.
“I’m excited, but I’m just ready to work,” he said. “This is an opportunity I’ve been waiting for and I’m going to take advantage of it.”
After checking in, the rookies bonded over a team dinner before turning in for the night. While they have practices all to themselves for the next couple of days, they are looking forward to Thursday when the whole team reports so they can start picking their teammates’ brains.
“I’m ready to get out there on the field and learn from the whole defense,” said an excitable Ingram. “Takeo Spikes. Shaun Phillips. Jarret Johnson. Antwan Barnes. Donald Butler. The list just goes on and on. I’m just out here trying to get better and there is a great group of vets who are willing to take me under their wing and help me learn.”
Taylor agreed with his fellow rookie, starting his desire to learn from the other members of the secondary.
“I’m most excited just to get this experience and learn from the veterans,” added the safety out of LSU. “Eric Weddle, Atari Bigby and Quentin Jammer are great veterans in the secondary I can learn a lot from. They’ve been in my shoes before and know what it takes to succeed.”
That road to success begins Monday morning for the first practice of the season. Be sure to visit Chargers.com throughout training camp for exclusive, all-access coverage of your favorite team.