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Man Behind the Mask: Larry English

Posted Aug 11, 2009

Before becoming the Chargers’ first-round draft pick this year, linebacker Larry English was one of the most decorated athletes in Northern Illinois University history. Chargers.com goes behind the mask to discover the real Larry English.

Since your arrival in San Diego, what have you enjoyed most about living here?

“The best part has been getting the chance to be around the team and to build that comfort level with everybody.  That’s important, especially if you’re new to the area and with a new team. That’s the first thing that’s going to make you comfortable playing with the organization, with your surroundings and the people you’re surrounded by.”

Have you noticed a big difference between the Midwest and Southern California?

“The first thing is the weather. Also, there aren’t any mountains around where I grew up in Chicago, so that’s really different.”

What was it like attending an all-boys military academy in high school?

“It was good. It helped me become disciplined.  My city school was big on basketball, but I knew that wasn’t my calling.  I knew football was my calling and the military academy was better in football.  When I had the option to go there, I knew it would help me.  It ended up being a good experience for me. I feel I made the right choice, especially since I made it this far.”

Besides football, you played basketball and ran track in high school.  What made you decide to concentrate solely on football?

“Football was always my first love.  I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I can’t really say why; I just knew it.”

Who were your favorite football team and player growing up?

“The Bears and Walter Payton.  It was my home team, but he’s a legend in football so obviously he was one of the first people that I was drawn to.”

Do you listen to any particular songs to pump you up before a game?

“I don’t really have one song that I always listen to before a game, but I usually listen to T.I. or Jay-Z.”

Do you have any other pregame rituals?

“No, I’m not really superstitious.  I don’t want to do a lot of extra stuff.  It’s football, something that I love and that I’ve been doing my whole life, so I don’t need to concentrate on anything extra.  It’s all about the game and having fun playing ball.”

How do you feel being a part of such a talented group of linebackers?

“It’s a great group to be in.  I still have a lot to prove though.  I’m happy to be here and to be picked as high as I was.  Now the next challenge is to be successful here and help this team win.” 

How has the transition been from college football to the NFL?

“It’s going good so far.  At the beginning it was a little different, just because the position is a little different from what I did in college, but I’ve been transitioning smoothly.”

What are a few things you do to relax after a long day at practice?

“I just go back to the room and chill.  I watch some TV, call a few friends and rest up to get ready for the next day.”

Are there any TV shows that you watch and can’t miss?

“I don’t have one TV show that I always have to watch.  I used to watch Martin Lawrence and The Cosby Show all the time.  Now I haven’t really been into it because I don’t have as much time.  I’ve been watching NFL Network and ESPN to know what’s going on.  That’s been it lately.”

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