The Sump Report

The weather outside this weekend calls for sunshine, but a haze of heat in Carson has replaced the cool breeze that was so common in La Jolla. Still the outlook for the tournament scheduled to begin July 22nd could be bright for a few. This is not the Walleye Tournament, but rather the San Diego Chargers Training Camp and Brian Sump is hoping to continue his high-energy output.

Kent Sump returns today to give us more intel on his son Brian Sump, a hard working young man who is looking for a spot on the team after signing as an undrafted free agent out of the Colorado School of Mines.

"We started fishing Walleye Tournaments. We started when he was nine years old and he just kept getting better and better. When he started he couldn't really do anything – take a two hour nap. We finished third place team of the year in our club three times now. First time that was ever done, especially with a youth."

In June of 2000, the Sump's won their day's events with a 3.74 pound fish and took home second place overall.

"Last summers tournaments we qualified for the Cabela's National Walleye Championship that was out in Kansas a couple of weeks ago. And they took 254 teams from 25 states and two provinces. So that was quite a deal. Unfortunately he was in San Diego so I had to take my buddy. That was another goal to do, to qualify for the National Championship and we did that. He has turned out to be a heck of a Walleye fisherman."

"We have had some great, great time in the boat. Really good one on one time."

What did he say to you when he was coming out to San Diego? Up until this point whatever he has said he will do, he pretty much has done it.

"He didn't really say too much. He just said, ‘I am going to go out there and work as hard as I can and hustle as much as I can and I am going to give it 100%.'

"When he came back after the three day rookie orientation he says, ‘I am convinced dad – I don't know if I am going to get a shot, but I can tell you right now, I can play at that level. There is a lot of competition out there.'

"He really hasn't said much. He is pretty humble.

"He says, ‘Some days I don't think I am doing very well.' And he really doesn't pat himself on the back very much. I don't know, I sure am reading a lot of great things about you and you don't seem to think you are doing very well.

"This was the first time he has ever really been away from home for any length of time. That and the pressures of camp. He had some issues to deal with being out there by himself. Seems like he has gotten over that hump.

"He has a good frame of mind. He tells me, ‘All I can do is put in the effort and do the best I can and if I get cut, I am ok with that.'

"I told him going in that this is a vicious business and you have to be mentally prepared – there is a lot of kids that are going to get the old slip that they are heading home."

89 guys are currently in camp with five cuts expected once all the Chargers draft picks sign. The next cutdown day isn't until August 26th, when the Chargers must trim the roster down to 65.

"You figure 36 guys are getting cut, just the reality of the sport. He had his hopes so high and I was just trying to prepare him mentally. You have to be prepared for that letdown. You just never know.

"He would accept a practice squad role. A lot of people don't realize, here, Rod Smith for the Broncos was on the practice squad, nobody even heard of him.

"Return ability – he just has that naturalness to him. His opening kickoff his sophomore year he took 103 yards for a touchdown. Starting game his junior year it was just an identical deal."

Brian Sump posted school-records in kickoff returns (81), kickoff return yards (2,384), touchdowns off kick returns (5), punt returns (47), punt return yards (717) and all-purpose yards (5,529).

"The first year they didn't pay a lot of attention. He led the nation in total return yards his first year.

"Brian became a better receiver at that point. I don't know if he was getting as many chances as in the past."

Sump registered his breakout season as a junior when he caught 59 passes for 1,175 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also returned 38 kicks for 1,082 yards and a Division II record four touchdowns en route to earning First Team All-RMAC, All-Region and All-America honors. As a senior, he tallied 46 catches for 849 yards and seven scores.

He started getting a little more receiving time after his sophomore year. After his sophomore year guys started taking notice. They would start pooch kicking and they just didn't kick to him. They said I would rather have them start on the 40 than have this kid take it for a touchdown. Really the reason his returns went down – they were pooch kicking or trying to kick out of bounds."

Tomorrow we finish our talk with Kent Sump, the father of Brian Sump, an undrafted free agent out of Colorado School of Mines.

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