Chargers Draft Interview: Ryon Bingham

One of the newest San Diego Chargers, Ryon Bingham, is the prototypical nose tackle. He is strong, wide bodied player who is stout against the run. A seventh round draft pick out of the University of Nebraska, some have said that Bingham was used wrongly in the Husker defense.

There are even rumors that the defensive line coach is not well liked or respected by the team but Ryon Bingham took the high road, preferring not to comment specifically on the matter.

And on the word from a reporter in Nebraska that he could have been used better, Bingham said bluntly, "I don't feel that. I had a good experience there."

What is without doubt is Bingham had multiple line coaches in the time he spent as a Husker and it could have cost him a more lucrative career in the NFL.

College is behind the 6-foot-3, 303 pounder. His professional career, however, did not start out quite as he envisioned.

Ryon Bingham knew his road to the NFL was going to be a "wait and see" affair. Waiting to get picked early in the seventh round is enough to set any prospects breathing into disarray. When you see your name on the ESPN screen before you have gotten the call from the team that drafted you is a little unnerving.

"They tried to get through to me and they couldn't because there were a bunch of teams calling me. They called my agent and said hey we can't get a hold of Ryon and we want to draft him. Basically it was there turn to draft and they couldn't get a hold of me so they drafted me and then called me."

And when they did get through?

"Congratulations, we just drafted you!

"It was kind of crazy," Bingham recalled. "I didn't even think they were going to draft me. I had talked to them and thought the Cowboys were going to draft me and all of a sudden my name came up on the screen and I was blown away."

They had not told him how they planned on using him at that time but when rookie orientation camp began in May, it was clear he was destined to play nose tackle in the Chargers 3-4 defense.

Bingham finished his collegiate career with 141 tackles, four sacks for minus-25 yards, 22 stops for losses of 50 yards, 14 quarterback pressures, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and a blocked kick while starting 25 of 37 games.

He led all interior linemen on the Nebraska squad in tackles. Most teams ran away from him. And former defensive coordinator Bo Pelini called the man who benched 225 pounds 33 times an "Ox".

Others point to another player that has ties to San Diego.

"I was told (by scouts) that I reminded them of John Parrella." Bingham stated. "That's just a huge compliment because that guy is as strong as it gets."

And if a Parrella clone is what San Diego had in Bingham, no one will be complaining or ever remember the phone call he received after his name appeared on the bottom of the screen telling him he was a Charger.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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