Months removed from his 28-27 victory in the Rose Bowl after being named the Offensive MVP and after he was named MVP of the Reese's Senior Bowl, quarterback Justin Herbert begins his career as a Charger after the Bolts selected him with the sixth-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
"I don't have any words to describe it," Herbert said. "It's such an incredible opportunity and something I've waited for, for so long. I'm fired up. Thrilled."
The Eugene, Ore. native was surrounded by his brothers and parents when he got the call from the Chargers, and said as soon as he saw the number flash on his phone, "I knew exactly what it meant. It was a really great feeling."
Though he's spent his football career in Eugene, he's no stranger to Southern California. He spent the months leading up to the Combine training in Santa Ana.
"75-degree weather in January and February is unheard of in Eugene," he said. "So it's a really nice area and an even better franchise to be part of."
Herbert becomes the second Oregon quarterback drafted by the Bolts, after the team selected Hall of Famer Dan Fouts in the third round of the 1973 NFL Draft.
The two have remained in touch over the years, Fouts even knew Herbert's grandfather, Rich Schwab, who was a former wide receiver for the school. Herbert said his relationship with Fouts is one he's lucky to have and is excited to carry on the Duck legacy with the Chargers.
"It's a huge honor. Just the privilege to get to know Dan Fouts and get to see what he's done has been special. He's a great guy and he's been able to reach out to me. That's meant a lot to me and this whole opportunity and chance is so exciting."
Herbert clearly had a January to remember, but credits the Senior Bowl for preparing him for the next phase of his career. Getting the time with NFL teams was invaluable and he went into the week with a mindset that clearly paid off.
"I found out about the whole process," he said of his experience in Mobile. "It was the first time I was exposed to NFL teams like that and meetings. Being able to play with guys from across the country and the exceptional talent that was there, it showed me what the process is like and it was a great opportunity for me to go through it. Leading up to the Combine, I had an idea and I'm glad that I went, did my best, and let the rest take care of itself."
So while we know he's won in college, what are the Chargers getting in Herbert?
I'll let him take it from here.
"An incredibly hard worker. A guy that prides himself on preparation. I'm going to do everything I can to be the best quarterback, teammate and friend I can be. I'm going to do everything I can, until I can't."
Take a look through some photos of the Chargers 2020 first-round Draft pick Justin Herbert during his distinguished career at Oregon.