Mere minutes after the Chargers took him with the 28th overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, defensive tackle Jerry Tillery called Chargers.com to give his exclusive first interview as a member of the Bolts.
Question: First things first – Jerry Tillery, how’s it feel to call yourself a Los Angeles Charger?
Tillery: Oh my gosh, what a blessing and an honor. I can’t wait to get to work. We’re going to win a Super Bowl in L.A. I know it, and I can’t wait to be a part of it. I’m blessed to be here. Plus, I look pretty good in powder blue!
Question: So, take us through what just took place literally seconds ago. You’re sitting there waiting for that phone to ring, and then you get that call. What’s happening in that moment?
Tillery: The phone rang, and I picked it up. I heard it was the L.A. Chargers, and I lost my mind! My family and everyone here, we’re at the Four Seasons Resort in Maui on a family vacation. It was great to share this moment with my family. They’ve supported me the whole way. To become a Charger, I couldn’t be going to be a better place. I’m ready. I can’t wait. This is (one of the places I) wanted to be.
Question: How much were you in contact with the team leading up to tonight?
Tillery: We talked a lot. We were in constant contact and communication. Again, I couldn’t be going to a better place.
Question: Many of your new fans may not have seen many Notre Dame games over the years, so what is it that Jerry Tillery brings to the table?
Tillery: I bring pass rush ability. I bring size, strength and athleticism. Speed. (Those are) my strengths. I use all that well to rush the passer and stop the run. I make plays. That’s what you’ve got to do as a defensive lineman. And I play hard every play. I’m going to make everyone in that city proud.
Question: Not many rookies get to come in and play between two Pro Bowlers like you will in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Has that sunk in yet?
Tillery: Oh yeah. Those are two great guys who I respect immensely. They are great players. I can’t wait to get to work with them, but also the other players on the team. It’s going to be a great environment and place to work.
Question: We’ve got some fan questions, so let’s get to those. Kyle Dyer wants to know how’s it going to be playing with (former Notre Dame teammate) Isaac Rochell again?
Tillery: Oh, it’s going to be amazing! That’s my guy! Isaac’s my guy! To be able to play with him again after all we did and went through at Notre Dame, it’s going to be special.
Question: Caleb Durlan wants to know, during this whole long process, what’s been your main motivation?
Tillery: I want to be the best. I want to be the best defensive lineman in this draft, and obviously, there were a lot taken. I’m honored and blessed and humbled that the L.A. Chargers took a chance on me. I can’t wait to make plays and make them proud.
Question: Quite a few fans want to know this one. Which quarterback can’t you wait to sack?
Tillery: All of them! I can’t wait to get a hold of all these quarterbacks!
Question: Finally, this is your first chance to talk to your new fans. What do you want your first message to be?
Tillery: I want every fan to know I can’t wait to see all of them. It’s going to be an amazing experience and one hell of a ride.