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Exclusive First Interview with Hunter Henry

Mere minutes after the Chargers selected him with the 35th overall pick, tight end Hunter Henry called to give his first interview as a member of the San Diego Chargers. Congratulations on being a San Diego Charger.  What is going through your head right now?

Henry: It's unbelievable.  It's a lifelong dream coming true and nothing I've ever experienced before.  Being able to come to a great organization like the Chargers; I can't wait.  I have all my family and friends here, so to celebrate with them is awesome. How much interaction did you have with the Chargers leading up to today?

Henry: I had a meeting with them at the Combine, but after that, not much. Some thought you'd go in the first round.  Any disappointment in going 35th overall in the second?

Henry: It was up in the air if I would go in the first round.  I knew God had a plan for me wherever I landed.  I did everything I could do throughout this whole process, but it's so up in the air. But there is absolutely no disappointment not going in the first round.  I'm so pumped to go where I'm at and come to San Diego. To be a Charger is such a blessing and I'm so humbled.  I get to go to a great city and a great organization, and be a part of it. All my hard work has paid off for this moment, so I can't wait to get out there and continue to work hard for the Chargers. The Chargers have such a strong tradition at tight end with Kellen Winslow and Antonio Gates.  What's it like to be able to learn from and team up with Gates?

Henry: I loved watching Antonio Gates growing up. Now to be able to go play with a Hall of Fame tight end like that, it's an honor.  I can't wait to get there and learn from what he does, and what makes him so good. Has it sunk in yet that you'll be catching passes from Philip Rivers?

Henry: I get to play with a Hall of Fame QB in Philip Rivers.  To play with two Hall of Fame guys with him and Antonio Gates is humbling.  It's unbelievable.  I'm so humbled and honored to play with two guys like that. They've accomplished so much in their time there, and it was always fun to watch those battles.  I can't wait to learn from those guys.  I'm pumped. For fans who may not have been able to watch many Arkansas games, give us a scouting report on Hunter Henry.

Henry: I'm a guy who does both block and catch. I played in a true pro-style offense, so I had to put my head in there and block a bunch.  But I also create mismatches in the passing game. I look forward to bringing that to the organization, and continuing to learn.  I can't wait to get out there. So it's no secret you had no drops last year…

Henry: Yeah, that is probably my best stat that I love.  I pride myself on that, and I work on it continuously.  It was really cool to be able to have that stat at the end of the year. Besides your hands, what else do you pride yourself on as a receiver?

Henry: I think using my body.  I know how to use it to shield off guys.  I still want to improve on my blocking.  I am a willing blocker, but I think technique-wise I can improve.  And also running routes. Besides catching passes, you also pride yourself on the run game.  How do you balance both responsibilities?

Henry:  A true tight end can block.  When you can block first, that sets you up for the passing game. I pride myself on both. If you are a guy who is only going to be in the game when it's a pass, then the defense can set up for that.  When they don't know what's going to happen, it keeps the defense on their toes. So it helps me to be able to create mismatches and get by a linebacker. What else do you know about the Chargers?

Henry: Well there are two Arkansas guys I was teammates with, so I'm looking forward to seeing Javontee (Herndon) and Darius Philon.  I'm looking forward to reconnecting with those guys. Finally, what do you want to tell all your new fans?

Henry: You're going to get a guy who is going to come in and work hard.  I can't wait to get to San Diego and make an impact.  I can't wait to join all the guys and really get to work.  I want to take this organization to a Super Bowl and win a Super Bowl.

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