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Hunter Henry Offers Sage Advice to Incoming Rookies
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Chargers veterans are in the midst of a voluntary mini camp under new Head Coach Anthony Lynn.
They’ll soon be joined by nearly 30 fresh faced rookies.
Whether they hear their name called in the draft or sign as a college free agent, the next few days are a landmark in each soon-to-be rookie’s life.
Hunter Henry was in their shoes last year.
He vividly recalls being a nervous wreck as he had no idea what the future held in store.
“It’s kind of crazy that (my) draft was a year ago,” he said. “There were a lot of emotions going on a year ago today, so it’s nice to know where I am and continue to push forward…. I really hadn’t even talked to the Chargers (during) the whole process, so I didn’t know where I was going to end up. There were a few teams, but it was kind of all over the map. The Chargers weren’t even on it! I kind of got a hint of it that day right before it was about to go on, and then finally when I got the call everything was a weight off my shoulders. To know where I was going to go, and a place like this that’s pretty special (with) a quarterback like Philip (Rivers), it was pretty unbelievable.”
As such, Henry is well positioned to offer sage advice to the new crop of rookies. He points out that while one weight is lifted as soon as you learn your future, another shortly appears when you finally join the team.
After all, there’s a stark difference between being the big man on campus and an NFL rookie who has to prove himself all over again. As such, he has some words of wisdom for his soon-to-be teammates.
“Just try to soak up as much as you can because it is going to be wild. You get picked, and then if you’re a higher pick you come in and have all these media (obligations). It’s just kind of crazy. It’s all a whirlwind. Then you’re here, and all of a sudden you’re on the field and they’re throwing all these plays at you. All these expectations. But just take all of it and soak it all in. This is an opportunity that not many people get to have. So, it’s pretty special and just try to learn from the older guys.”
His rookie teammates would be wise to heed his words. After all, Henry went from second-round pick to leading all NFL tight ends with eight touchdown catches. He ended the season ranked first on the team in TD receptions, fifth in receiving yards (478) and sixth in catches (36).
“The work that I put in up to the point (I was drafted), and the work I did coming into here and picking up the offense (helped me. Like) getting plays with Philip early with (Antonio) Gates not being here. I thought I could have a really good year. I didn’t really think I could do what I did maybe to the degree that I did, but it was a lot of fun. I look forward to building on it.”
The Los Angeles Chargers will celebrate day three of the 2017 NFL Draft at StubHub Center on Saturday, April 29. DraftFest is free and open to the public. A long list of current and former Chargers players will also be in attendance signing autographs, taking pictures and mingling with fans. Chargers confirmed to attend include Philip Rivers, Hunter Henry, this year's first-round pick and many more. Read