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Larry Rountree III: "Seeking Knowledge From A Gang of OGs"
The rookie RB talks suiting up for his first NFL action, what it was like getting to speak to LaDainian Tomlinson, his mom's impact, and more.
By Hayley Elwood Aug 21, 2021

We're continuing our series of checking in with Chargers players ahead of the 2021 season.

Our next conversation features running back Larry Rountree III.

Drafted by the Bolts in the sixth round, Missouri's all-time leading rusher as a running back made an impact for the Chargers in the team's 13-6 preseason win over the Rams last week.

Here's more from Rountree III on suiting up for his first NFL action, what it was like getting to speak to LaDainian Tomlinson, how many hours his mom drove to watch him play at Mizzou, and more.

What was it like playing in your first preseason game?

Rountree III: It was great. I tried to enjoy the moment, but I had a bit of tunnel vision trying to do my job correctly at the utmost fashion.

You made some big plays, one of them was the fourth down conversion. What'd you see on that play?

Rountree III: Gabe [Nabers] hit the hole and blocked, so I didn't want his block to go to disservice. So I just went outside and saw green grass. I'm just thankful that the offensive line blocked and did their job so it makes my job easier.

Feel good to ice the game with the 24-yard run at the end, too?

Rountree III: Yeah! It felt good to put the nail in the coffin as [Missouri running backs coach] coach Loop would say. That felt good. There's no better way to end a game than with a victory.

How good did it feel just to get back out there in a game against someone else?

Rountree III: It felt good. Guys get a little edgy at camp and want to put our hands on other people, so it felt good to go out there.

I saw LaDainian Tomlinson was talking to you after the game. What was that moment like?

Rountree III: It was great. I've been looking up to him since I was a little kid. I used to wear his shoes and watch him. It was great to speak to a Hall of Famer and to a player that has built on the foundation of this organization. I was in the equipment room and I saw a football that had all of his accomplishments on it so it was funny how I met him after that game. I love seeking knowledge from a gang of OGs like him.

How cool is it being in the NFL and having not only veteran teammates, but legends like LT be around and have the opportunity to talk to guys like him?

Rountree III: A player like me, I'm a sponge. I love getting more knowledge of the game because I know it's gonna get me better. I'm a rookie so it's more so that I need to get as much knowledge as possible cause I know it'll make me a better player in the long run.

Did anything surprise you in your first NFL action?

Rountree III: Just having fans back, but I wasn't really worried about the stands, I was worried about what was on the field. It was a lot faster than college.

Head coach Brandon Staley talked about you playing with a physicality. How would you describe your running style?

Rountree III: Just very physical. North and south; downhill. If I need to juke, I will. But at the end of the day, I'm moving forward. If I go down, it'll be by a pile. Whatever they need me to do, I'll do.

What was the key to your success at Mizzou?

Rountree III: Just again, seeking knowledge of the game and getting better. Talking to coaches, talking to players. There's a list of players who have helped me. Damarea Crockett, he's a running back for the Broncos and he told me I was gonna rush for 1,000 yards in college and he was older than me. So just guys like that helped me because I didn't do it by myself, it was always me seeking knowledge from another person. I still keep that to this day. So that was really key to my success. Plus my mom driving 14 hours to every game.

Okay so I was going to ask because I read that. She really did that? What's the mileage on her car?

Rountree III: About 299,000 miles. My mom drove 14 hours to every game, so you gotta ball if your mama drives that far. If your mama drives 14 hours, you HAVE to play hard, win or lose.

Did you figure out a travel plan for her this year?

Rountree III: I told her I'm gonna fly her. Now I get paid to do this so I can help make her transportation easier instead of her driving. She's not driving to California.

She still have the car?

Rountree III: She still has the car.

Besides LT, who else do you model your game after?

Rountree III: I'm old school; Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson, Marcus Allen.

That era of guys?

Rountree III: That was the era. I look at it as the tough, hard-nosed football. It's the 'downhill hitting guys in the mouth, not going down easy,' I like. Jim Brown is another one. I just try to model my game after the guys I try to run like. A little more old school. I can go on and on.

You've danced out here during camp. You like to bring the energy?

Rountree III: That's just me. I haven't really been dancing recently though, I've been trying to be locked into the game. I don't wanna be doing all this dancing and they're like, 'Come on rook.' But as the season comes, I'll open up and show you all some moves. Hopefully, when I get my first touchdown, you'll see my moves.

You gonna choreograph this?

Rountree III: I know what I'm gonna do. It will be very live.

Two more preseason games left, what do you hope to accomplish in them?

Rountree III: Getting better at the things that I haven't shown. I've gotten in the game and played a little bit. But being in situations and executing at the right spots. Just getting better on the little things and knowing where to be in the right spots.

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