Chargers Draft Interview: Shane Olivea

Shane Olivea spent his offseason training in Arizona. With a goal of working out six days a week, he wanted to drop his weight down to a more manageable level. <br><br> His one day off was Sunday where he could relax and maybe take in a Subway sandwich – his treat for the week.

After the Fiesta Bowl, Shane Olivea weighed in at 330 pounds. With the Senior Bowl, combines and Pro Day looming on the horizon, he set a goal to get down to 313 pounds.

"I went on a food and meal program," Olivea explains. "I have never taken supplements, but thought it was important to watch my calorie intake."

With the help of a nutrition specialist, Olivea quickly slimmed down to 322 pounds, but his work was just beginning. As he lost weight, it became tougher to shed the pounds.

But his nutrition specialist helped keep him focused and motivated, and before long Olivea was seeing the gains and "Subway Sunday" was not on his mind.

He was taught what to eat, when to eat, portion size and everything in between.

"It was beneficial as I saw my body fat dropped and I was getting leaner," says Olivea. "I was seeing major gains and Sunday was that little lift for the next week. After seeing the gains I made, the sky was the limit."

Instead of dropping down to 313, the bar was raised. Olivea took the ball and ran with it, a job he usually reserves for the running backs he blocks for. His weight, once a deterrent, was down to 306 and he had dreams of the going high in the draft.

Then during his Pro Day on March 12th, Olivea tore a pectoral muscle and he was immediately removed from several team's boards. The Dolphins, in fact, had told him that they would take him in the third round. When they traded that pick to the Packers, he knew it would be a longer day than he anticipated.

The Chargers saw a guy with first day talent and scooped him up in the seventh round, mere peanuts for a man with his resume.

Olivea started all 13 games as a senior playing a team leading 368 minutes. In total, he has played in 41 games, starting 35 of those contests, most of them at right tackle. He earned praise for his pass blocking skills.

His high ranking wasn't meant to be despite all his efforts. Injuries can't be accounted for.

Now Olivea prescribes to the theory of "maximizing the effort and least amount of injury." It is a philosophy he has developed during his rehab stage. He knows he has the talent to succeed in the NFL.

While he admits surfing is not on the horizon, he is willing to put in the hard work.

"Show you are worth the investment," Olivea says. "Perform well and compete."

Given the strides he made overcoming his weight problems just five months ago and his desire to succeed despite a torn pectoral muscle, the sky truly is the limit for him. A seventh rounder with his talent does not come around too often.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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