Heading West

Five years ago, Jeremy Sheffey came to WVU as a skinny defensive lineman from northeastern Kentucky. Now, Sheffey is heading to one of the best teams in the NFL.

"I actually just signed a free agent deal tonight with San Diego," Sheffey said in an exclusive interview with BlueGoldNews.com on Sunday night.

The Catlettsburg, Ky. native was a starter in all four of his seasons at West Virginia, and helped pave the way for one of the nation's leading rushing attacks over that period of time. Despite his selection as a first team all-Big East player, Sheffey was not thought of as an NFL Draft pick. Still, that didn't deter the level-headed lineman from pursuing his dream via a free agent contract.

"I knew that if I got drafted it would be late in the last couple of rounds maybe, and if it was late I wanted it to be the last pick or free agent," he said, referring to the dubious moniker of "Mr. Irrelevant" that is given to the final pick of every draft. "Being Mr. Irrelevant would have been kind of fun."

When the Lions selected Alabama defensive back Ramzee Robinson with the 255th and final pick in this year's NFL Draft, Sheffey began to think about his next move.

"Pre-draft I had been talking to the Colts, the Jets and Houston," he explained. "San Diego kind of came out of nowhere."

After looking at his options, the opportunity to play for the Chargers was too much for the big man to pass up.

"They were one of the teams that I felt like I could fit in the best with," he said. "I felt that I could play there and have an opportunity to make my mark."

"I fit well with their blocking schemes and the type of players they have out there," continued the well-spoken Sheffey. "One of the things we were talking about is the coaching they have out there. Some of the coaching styles out there are a good fit for me."

One luxury that the Chargers have which no other team can boast is NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson. The lightning-quick running back is arguably one of the most dynamic players in NFL history, and Sheffey is admittedly pumped up about the chance to block for a player of that caliber.

"That's definitely one of the coolest things about (the Chargers)," he said. "I blocked for one of the most dynamic college backs (All-American Steve Slaton), and if I can keep from getting cut I can block for one of the most dynamic pro backs of the last 20 years."

Sheffey will leave on Thursday to take part in a weekend mini-camp with his new club. He will then return home for a short period of time, but will likely return to San Diego to workout all summer.

"This is a job now," he said. "My job is to play football for the San Diego Chargers.

"I'm really excited."

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