With training camp nearly here, we'll be periodically checking in with Chargers players ahead of the 2022 season.
Our next conversation features rookie safety JT Woods, who the Bolts selected in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of Baylor.
Here's more from Woods on why he feels the Chargers are the 'perfect team' for him, his track background, the debate between Whataburger and In-N-Out, and more.
How would you describe these last few months?
Woods: Oh my gosh! I would definitely say it's been a dream come true, for sure. It's really hard to put into words but I really fell into the perfect team for me with the perfect people around me. It's nothing but a dream I get to live every single day so I'm very thankful for that.
When you call this team 'perfect' and talk about the people, what else is it about the Chargers that makes this such a good fit for you?
Woods: It's not just players or coaches, but also staff. There's never been a day where I've walked into the building and didn't see a smile on every person's face. That's something that was really important to me; being in a healthy work environment. I know from the first day I stepped into the organization, that's what it was. It's family-oriented which I love because I'm really big on family. But also, to be in California, in a beautiful place. It's 70 degrees and sunny every single day so I get to have the opportunity where I can bring my family out to CA and get them away from the Texas heat and see the beach. I think for me, being in a healthy work environment and having people who are going to nurture me and bring me up to be not only a better football player, but a better man, it's literally crazy to think that I am a Charger and where I am in my life right now.
Speaking of the people, we recently posted an interview with Nasir Adderley and he talked about you and mentioned how he's trying to help you as you come into this league.
What has getting to know him been like?
Woods: Nas is very special because he's very, very smart. He knows a lot of things on and off football. He's been influential with financial literacy. Not a lot of people have the type of financial literacy he does. He literally sat down with me in the locker room and talked about life insurance policies and things you'd never think about as a 21-year-old, but things that are important now. He's offered me a lot of knowledge outside of football. It's really nice to have people in the locker room who talk about life things.
I'm gonna be honest, I've done a ton of interviews and I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone speak to the financial literacy part of the game like you have.
You mention you guys are humans, football is your job, but where does that penchant for off the field knowledge you want to gain come from?
Woods: I'm not really sure where it came from. I think for me, I've always wanted to see more. I love football. I love football with a passion, it's super important to me. But why I love football the most is because of the people that it allows you to be with and the knowledge that we [gain] because of the different upbringings we have. We all have different upbringings, come from different backgrounds, even come from different countries! We have people from Canada! You get them all into one room, and they're all fighting for one goal: to win a Super Bowl. I think that's very unique, and you get to learn so much about people.
I love the locker room environment; I love everyone I'm around. Obviously, they are teaching me a lot about the Xs and Os and football is our job and we're expected to do it at a very high level. Bar none, everybody is helping me and all the rookies around us get on that level. But we're 21, 22, coming into the league and this is the first time having a 'job' for a lot of people. It's just little things I'm thankful I have. You've heard nightmare stories from veterans not wanting to help the rookies because sometimes they feel like they're there to take their place. But that has never been the case for anybody [here]. We talk about how great the vets are and how they're really trying to help us develop.