A few moments after being selected 91st overall in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, we spoke with tackle Trey Pipkins for his exclusive first interview as a member of the Bolts.
Question: Welcome to the Chargers, Trey. What's going through your mind right now?
Pipkins: I can't even describe it. Honestly, it's unbelievable. It's a dream. Really, just a dream. To go from (Sioux Falls) to the NFL, it's awesome I can help get the program's name out there because it's an unbelievable program. They blessed me with all the opportunities I could dream of. This is a crazy feeling.
Question: Speaking of crazy, that's exactly how everyone describes the NFL Draft. What were your emotions like heading into this weekend?
Pipkins: It was crazy. I had heard everything, and I was told possibly I'd go in the third because there were teams that really wanted me, so it's a great feeling.
Question: For those who haven't had a chance to watch you play, how would you describe your game?
Pipkins: Off the field, you're going to see a lot of smiles. That's who I am. I'm a happy guy. But on the field, you're going to see somebody who works his (butt) off and gives his all every single play. I like to smile off the field but play (nasty) on it. My athleticism is for sure my strength. My movement and footwork, things like that, that's what I definitely hang my hat on.
Question: What was it like playing in the East-West Shrine Game?
Pipkins: I was really eager for that opportunity just to compete. I had obviously been hearing questions if I could compete with top level talent, so I was eager to get out there and show that I could. I performed well there, so I think that's when I really started to open some eyes.
Question: How much contact did you have with the Chargers leading up to the draft?
Pipkins: I had a formal interview with them at the Combine, but I didn't have a visit or anything like that afterward. I got a good vibe from them, and I thought I did well in the interview, but I didn't hear from them afterward. So, I didn't know what to think. But apparently I made a good enough impression!
Question: All young offensive linemen dream of protecting quarterbacks in the NFL, but few get the chance to protect someone like Philip Rivers. Has that sunk in yet?
Pipkins: I don't think that's actually sunk in yet, but it's unbelievable. It's an unbelievable honor. He's someone I can learn a lot from.
Question: Someone else you can learn a lot from is Russell Okung…
Pipkins: I'm very familiar with him. He's someone I can obviously learn a lot from. I'm definitely going to start watching film of him and learn everything I can. Just soak up everything he has to give me.
Question: Finally, for all the Chargers fans out there, what do you want to tell them tonight?
Pipkins: Oh man. That's a gooood question. Man, guys, just be ready for a lot of smiles and a lot of wins!