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Kyle Emanuel Shares Rare Tie with New LB Addition
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On Tuesday, the Chargers signed eight-year veteran inside linebacker Joe Mays. Mays, who had a visit to San Diego in the spring, said he feels like it was “meant for me to be here.”
“It feels good to know that I had a visit here in March and met all the coaching staff,” Mays said. “Then for it to turn full circle and for me to end up back here after going somewhere else is pretty good. It’s always good to come in when the first day is in full pads. You get that hitting out of the way, but just to come out here and get some hard work and work with my new teammates (has been good).”
Mays’ signing makes him the sixth former North Dakota State football player currently on an active roster in the NFL and the second former Bison on the Chargers squad alongside fellow linebacker Kyle Emanuel.
Although they were never teammates at NDSU, Mays and Emanuel met earlier this year and are excited to play beside each other in San Diego.
“I had obviously heard a lot about him from NDSU and having a lot of success in the NFL, so I was just excited for him, excited that he has another (NFL) opportunity and (that) I get to play alongside him,” Emanuel mentioned.
“I met (Emanuel) in January at the championship game,” Mays said. “I had a chance to talk with him a little bit and now to see him here and see what he’s done so far, he’s been pretty impressive. All I can do is try to instill some more knowledge into him and watch him blossom into a good football player.”
According to Emanuel, Mays has already started sharing knowledge with the rookie.
“It’s been good,” he added. “I talked to him (Tuesday) and he’s been giving me advice on things I need to do on and off the field. I’m excited to work with him. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to be teammates at NDSU but now we get to and it’s pretty cool. I’m looking forward to it.”
As for what’s impressed Mays about the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award winner?
His motor and effort on the gridiron.
“(Emanuel’s) relentless (with) his energy. He doesn’t stop, he doesn’t get tired and he’s all over the (field). That’s been something that I noticed in college and it’s been good he carried it over into the league.”
Along with their love of the game of football, another thing Mays and Emanuel share is their immense pride in being North Dakota State alumni. Making it in the league from a smaller FCS school bonds them, and both are looking to use that pride to fuel each other on Sundays.
“I think every single person that’s come out of that school holds big pride in making it to the NFL,” mentioned Mays. “We’re a smaller school, we’re known as a smaller school, so to make it to the NFL on a big stage is impressive. I think we’re going to continue to keep that going. We have a bunch of great players come out each and every year and that’s something that’s going to carry over.”
“Pride is something we talked a lot about at NDSU (and) I’m sure Joe can attest to that,” Emanuel said. “Just to have someone else here who understands that and can maybe bring it out a little bit more in me. Find that passion, that pride that you play with in college and hopefully we can bring it out in each other.” Read