The San Diego Chargers traded up in the fifth round of this year's draft to select Cam Thomas (6-foot-4, 330 pounds), a run-stuffing nose tackle who will play in a rotation that will also include Antonio Garay, Ian Scott and/or Ryon Bingham.
LaShana Marshburn: What were you doing during the NFL Draft?
Camaron Thomas: I was just sitting at the house, pacing back and forth and waiting for a call from somebody. One day I saw an 858 number pop up and I never knew where it was from. I answered it and Mr. A.J. Smith was like, "Hey, is this Cam Thomas?" I was like, "Yeah." He said, "This is A.J. Smith with the Chargers," and it was like the pressure was lifted off me.
LM: Can you describe the feeling of being drafted?
CT: I felt like my life was about to start up. Now I'm not going to be anywhere near my family. I'm going to be out here on the West Coast, so basically I just have to do what I've got to do to provide for them.
LM: Are the Chargers the team you hoped to land with?
CT: It really didn't matter. I just wanted to get picked up. Wherever I went I was happy to go, basically.
LM: How has minicamp been going so far?
CT: It's faster. It's more mental than just physical, but [UNC head coach Butch Davis] did a good job in preparing me for this.
LM: Speaking of Coach Davis, how much of a leg-up did he give you in your preparations for the NFL?
CT: Basically, with Coach Davis on the staff we always had a great tempo. We practiced like you're supposed to practice. It helped me out throughout the whole process -- the Senior Bowl, the Combine, all that stuff. I was always prepared and nothing's really changed from Carolina to San Diego.
LM: Have any Chargers veterans taken you under their wings?
CT: All the veterans are showing all the rookies love. They are trying to win something, the Super Bowl, so you know you're not going to hold back info if you're trying to win something. Everybody gives me different advice on what to do, so it is not just one person, it's everybody.
How much will Thomas contribute in 2010? Discuss inside the message boards.
Exclusive: Cam Thomas Talks About Life in SD
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