DajLeon Farr Moves One Step Closer

The Chargers know a thing or two about plucking talented tight ends from the undrafted free agent pool. They did just that when they signed Antonio Gates in 2003; and now, they hope for lightning to strike twice in the form of DajLeon Farr. The gifted rookie from Memphis tells SDBoltReport.com what he must do to follow the All Pro's footsteps.

DajLeon Farr (6-foot-5, 256 pounds) began his college career at the University of Miami, where in three seasons he caught 10 balls for 134 yards. The reason for his muted statistics is he was stuck behind a group of talented tight ends that included Greg Olsen, the first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2007, and Dedrick Epps, who was selected by the Chargers with their final pick in this year's draft.

Farr transferred to Memphis as a senior, where he made more of an impact by catching 14 passes for 76 yards and a score. The bad news was that his senior performance was not enough to get him drafted. The good news was that it was strong enough to catch San Diego's attention.

"The Chargers were the first team to get in touch with me after the draft," said Farr, who watched the draft at his uncle's house with his sister, friends and family.

TE DajLeon Farr
Alan Diaz/AP
San Diego was an appealing place for tight ends after the draft. The team had not yet signed Randy McMichael, so rookies came in hoping to compete for the No. 3 spot behind Antonio Gates and Kris Wilson.

However, that wasn't the only reason Farr signed with the Chargers.

"I had a connection with the Chargers because of Chud," said Farr of tight ends coach Rod Chudzinski, who was Miami's offensive coordinator from 2001-2003. "[Chudzinski] recruited me in high school. [Signing in San Diego] was wanting to be somewhere where I knew someone and just trying to put myself in a position where I will be able to develop into a great player."

Chudzinski had moved onto the NFL by the time Farr arrived in Miami. But Farr still believes his time in the college ranks -- especially his stint with the Hurricanes -- prepared him for success in the NFL.

Miami is widely known as a tight end factory, having produced such star players as Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow and Olsen. Farr hopes to continue the tradition.

"Miami football is a great tradition," Farr said. "I spent three years around guys that have been through college and been in the league, taking notes from them and trying to model myself after them. I take little pieces of different people's games and still try to be myself."

Despite a strong upbringing, Farr is unlikely to win more than a place on the practice squad in San Diego. He is stuck behind a trio of strong veterans in Gates, Wilson and McMichael. Barring an injury, those will be the three tight ends Norv Turner carries into the season.

Nonethless, Farr is making the best of the situation and learning from the established players in front of him.

"Every day it's a different guy saying something to me, trying to help me along the way," he said. "Every day it's a different guy telling me, ‘Hey, you might want to try doing this,' or, ‘Pay attention here,' or ‘Focus on that.' I'm just trying to find one thing to get better at every day."

In his quest for ongoing improvement, Farr has learned that the biggest difference between college and the pros is the mental part of the game. He is working tirelessly to get the playbook down and get on the same page as the veterans in front of him.

Once he accomplishes that, he can spend less time thinking and more time reacting.

"I need to work on playing faster," he said. "I can't make a lot of small mistakes. I have to be secure and on-point with my assignments. I have to play fast."

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