Changing coasts, Kevin Boothe is in a whole new world and probably didn't realize the true implications of being an Oakland Raider until he sat in the locker room for the first time, strapped on his pads and took the coveted jersey off the hanger.
"That is why that weekend was such a good thing," Boothe admitted of minicamp. "I think that by the end of the weekend I was started to get comfortable and could get down to business. Obviously, the first time you get out there and you are in the locker room putting on Silver and Black that is definitely a time to get nervous but I think having that minicamp and getting it out of the way – I probably won't have butterflies again until training camp."
And thus it began. The veins have been exposed to its first taste of Silver and Black. Boothe, for his part, is eager to drink more of the elixir that will make him a full-fledged Raider and he is appreciative for the first chance to show his attributes.
"It went great," Boothe admitted. "It was good to get out there and put on a helmet again. It was definitely exciting."
Selected in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Boothe was only the fourth Cornell player to earn All-Ivy League honors three times in a career, joining Ed Marinaro (RB, 1969-70-71), Bob Lally (LB, 1971-72-73) and Chad Levitt (RB, 1994-95-96). In 2005, Kevin became the first first-team All-America selection at Cornell since 1998, when John Hansen was picked to the top team.
Despite playing both tackle positions as a senior, the 6-foot-4, 320-pounder worked exclusively at right guard at the Raiders camp.
He admits that guard is more of a brawler mentality as opposed to the patience needed at the tackle position.
While he possesses a calm demeanor off the field, Boothe is no stranger to showing aggression.
"I can mix it up sometimes when needed," he said. "I started at guard before I moved out to tackle so I am familiar with the position."
Boothe is overcoming more than just a move inside to guard. Just like he battled through two broken hands, the big lineman had to make it through the NFL Draft.
A proclaimed draftnik, Boothe was used to blocking the doors to his house to watch the NFL Draft for two days straight – never leaving the comfort of his hangout clothes.
While everyone else continued with their draft rituals, Boothe was engrossed for a different reason. He was waiting for his name to be called.
"That is funny," Boothe laughed at the irony. "I have always watched the draft growing up. I have always been there on the Saturday's and Sunday's watching the draft. This year, I was like, ‘I am going to keep it as normal as possible' but obviously it wasn't like any ordinary draft. I tried to keep myself occupied with other things but after a while I resorted back to watching the draft and waiting anxiously to be selected."
"I am so excited that I would be going out to Oakland," he recalled. "I learned a tremendous amount in just those couple of days from Coach Eatman, Coach Slater and Coach Shell just about offensive line play."
And the education continues.