When Uchenna Nwosu came to USC as a freshman, little did he know that his path with then senior, Hayes Pullard, would cross again.
Enter day two of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Nwosu was taken in the second round by the Los Angeles Chargers – the same team his former Trojan teammate currently plays for.
"He was my mentor when I first got to USC," Nwosu said in his exclusive first interview with Chargers.com after being drafted. "So it's an awesome feeling to be back with him and connect with him again."
"He's a great guy," mentioned Pullard. "Young, but very open-minded to be able to learn everything and come into a university like USC to want to be great at a young age. You hear from people. 'Oh, I want to be a starter.' Well, Uchenna came in and wanted to learn the defense and know the little things that (eventually got) him to where he wanted to be. Right away, I knew he was going to be great."
When Nwosu got to USC, he instantly forged a bond with Pullard. The two stuck together during the 2014 season, with the then captain eventually paving the way for Nwosu to follow in his footsteps.
"He taught me a lot, especially during my younger times at USC," Nwosu explained. "He was a team captain and a leader, so I tried to emulate what he did and tried to be like him. He's very funny and a guy who I know personally and look up to."
"I started teaching him the little things; how to work out, how to train, how to study film and watch different opponents," Pullard added. "You've seen him grow from freshman year, where I don't think he played that much, to sophomore year then where he started dabbling in playing his junior year and took it to another level senior year. As I watched his career, he's continued to get better and continued to be a peak performer with that 'Kobe mindset' you can see growing in him."
Nwosu's work ethic and "Mamba mentality" according to Pullard was second-to-none. It's something he believes got Nwosu to where he is today and will help him get acclimated to life in the NFL, with a little help from his friends.
"I think it'll be a smooth transition. I think we have a great linebacker group, we're all pretty much the same age. So being able to embrace him, like we did with James (Onwualu) last year, I think it'll be a smooth transition for him. I'm his big brother, so once he comes in, we'll take care of him."
Take a look through the top photos of the Bolts' second-round pick, LB Uchenna Nwosu of USC.