Hoopster turned fullback in San Diego

The Chargers got another hoopster when they signed Shawn Willis as a free agent. Though he does not play tight end, he believes what he learned on the hardwood can be an asset as a fullback.

You originally committed to play basketball at Lamar. What changed your mind to make you decide to go to OSU?

My favorite sport is basketball, and, at the time, I guess I was kind of going off of a dream. What ended up really changing my mind were O-State and my mom. My mom wanted me to come here (to OSU). She liked the fact that the people are real nice, and it seems like home. It's not too big. The coaches assured her that they would take care of me.

Do you still get on the court to play some hoops?

I still love to play, but I usually only play in the off-season, or during the Christmas Holidays, so it doesn't conflict with football. I am a wing, I play somewhere out on the perimeter. In college, I would have been a small forward.

In your first couple of years, you have moved around to a couple of different positions. Was fullback the best position for you?

I think so. I think I'm where I want to be, and I'm happy right here. Right here is probably the best position for me to help the team.

You ranked as one of the top lifters at Oklahoma State. Have you always spent a lot of time in the weight room?

I always lifted pretty hard. Since I was up here this summer, I was like, I want to come out strong when two-a-days come, and so I just worked my butt off. Gary (Calcagno, OSU Conditioning Coach) was there pushing me and helping me all along the way.

How can you help the Chargers offensively?

In terms of catching the ball, most teams don't cover the flats that well, so if I can get there, and cut up...most people don't want to tackle me up high, so if I can just keep my feet, it can be real good, real positive.

What can you improve on as a fullback?

My pass protection, and just basic technique stuff. Getting low, using my hands more, and stuff like that.

Did playing basketball help you as a football player?

It has helped with my feet, running-wise. Looking at certain things, like how most people are going to try and tackle me, knowing how to pick up my legs at certain times, or take a longer step.

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