To see Greg Peterson's thoughts on rookie RB Gartrell Johnson, click here.
Kory Sperry (6-foot-6, 250 pounds) starred at Colorado State and was a three-time All-Mountain West honoree. Known as a pass-catching tight end, his senior season included 38 catches for 492 yards (12.9-yard avg) and six touchdowns.
Sperry joined the Chargers as an undrafted free agent and will look to take advantage of the recent release of Scott Chandler. Sperry hopes to stick as the No. 4 tight end -- just as Antonio Gates did as a rookie -- and work his way into the rotation.
Does the nimble big man have what it takes? SDBoltReport.com's Samantha Fillerup talked to Colorado State recruiting coordinator Greg Peterson to gain some insight.
Samantha Fillerup: How would you describe Sperry's work ethic?
TE Kory Sperry
Greg Peterson: Kory Sperry can be as good as he wants to be. He is a big, athletic tight end that can run and catch. I can recall maybe a half-dozen catches from his senior year where he ran down the field like a big wide receiver and made some tremendous, athletic catches, yet he comes in a tight end body. I think he's got a big, big upside. He will play a long time. When we got there in January (2008), he was coming back from an injury (torn ACL) and all I saw him do was go to work every day and prepare and try to get healthy. And he certainly went above and beyond what was asked and had an outstanding senior year.
SF:: How did the injury affect his game?
GP: I think anytime you come back from an injury you have got to have a certain amount of toughness, perseverance and determination. I thought that he did a great job of coming back quickly. That was an injury that happened to him early in his junior year and for him to bounce back and be ready for spring football and be able to have a great spring practice and an outstanding senior year, he is to be commended. He has the abilities to do some special things. It will be fun to watch him as he continues to grow.
SF: What does he bring to the clubhouse?
GP: Kory is going to bring a lot of things; there will be a lot of fun in that locker room with Kory Sperry around. I mean that in a positive way. He is very focused and he's going to compete, but they'll have some fun with him and he'll bring some enthusiasm to that practice field as well. Like Gartrell Johnson, Kory will compete.
SF: What is the best part of his game?
GP: You look at how big and athletic he is -- I think he's got a chance to be a tremendous receiver. When I say that, he did a nice job in the run game for us and that's something he worked hard on between his junior and senior year. When I saw him a few weeks ago before the draft, he was excited about having a chance to play and talking about going back to the basics and improving his fundamentals as a blocker and pass receiver. He understands the game and is anxious to get going.
SF: Where will he have to improve to succeed in the NFL?
GP: With his strength being a pass receiver, you can probably say improving his run-blocking ability. He certainly has the size and strength and ability to do it. I know he'll be focused to improve and be more dominant at the line of scrimmage.
SF: What preparations did he make in college that will help him in the NFL?
GP: I think being in the system that he played in for a year-and-a-half is a big plus. How the game was taught to him is similar to what he will experience with the Chargers. I think that is a big plus to be in the system we are in.