Chargers Draft Interview: Ryan Krause

The first challenge for any rookie has nothing to do with rookie orientation camp that was just completed. Instead it is the wait associated with the NFL Draft. Some players will be drafted while others will not. It is the nature of the game. But they all will get a chance. San Diego Chargers sixth round draft pick Ryan Krause was doing jumping jacks to stay loose as the second day rolled around.

A star receiver at Nebraska-Omaha, Ryan Krause was anxious to get the day over.

Krause was the third receiver in Nebraska-Omaha history to have over 1,000 receiving yards in a season, and ended his collegiate career as No. 2 in career receiving yards with 2,566.

Despite impressive stats, there were concerns. Would he be able to handle the NFL after playing for a smaller school? How would his speed hold up against more physical corners?

Krause remained realistic in his chances of getting drafted, but his nerves were shot when the fifth round commenced.

"I was at home on Saturday watching the draft," Krause began. "I wasn't supposed to get picked on the first day so the second day I was pretty nervous.

"Got up in the morning and hung out with my family. And I knew the fifth round went by and I thought something was going to happen in the sixth as that is what me and my agent talked about."

Krause didn't have to wait long in the sixth. With the fourth pick in the sixth round, the Chargers selected the 6-2 wideout.

"I knew it was going to be between San Diego and Denver and it happened to be San Diego. I was real excited and AJ Smith called me and I talked to Coach Schottenheimer.

"I felt really fortunate to be going to San Diego as it is such a nice place. I was happy with where I was going to. San Diego was number one on my free agent list. If I wasn't drafted, I was going to head to San Diego and try and make the team."

The funny thing is football wasn't always the sport he envisioned himself playing. Krause was a three sport star who excelled in baseball and basketball. He was a little short to continue his career in basketball, but baseball was something he was passionate about. Each summer he would umpire games and each year would return to resume his multi sport status.

"I was a catcher," Krause explains. "I wasn't a great hitter. I had a real good arm."

So what happened?

He started to get noticed for his feats on the football field.

"I went through a workout with a regional scout for the Midwest and he graded me real high," Krause said excitedly. "I started to get a lot of calls from agencies and scouts really looking at me. My junior year was really good to. So basically my junior year is when I figured it out."

And he hasn't looked back. Krause is set to live in breathe football. His umpiring days in the summer are officially over.

"I will be strictly football, no baseball," Krause said with a smile.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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