Underwood Undertaking Linebacker for Chargers

Published 07/22 2014 05:47PM

Updated 07/22 2014 06:44PM

WMBD/WYZZ-TV - WASHINGTON, Ill. - He knows this is the week he's waited for most of his life.

Colton Underwood has a reason to be a little nervous as he gets ready to report to his first NFL training camp.

"I'm sure there will be stressful moments," said Underwood. But during those stressful moments, you've got to take a step back and say, 'Hey, I'm in the NFL right now.' I'm going to have fun with it."

Signed as a free agent by San Diego, the former Illinois State All-American heads to camp hoping to prove a hard-working, undrafted rookie can win a spot on an NFL roster.

"I sort of felt that way coming out of high school, I was under-recruited," said the former Washington High School star. "This feeling is not that foreign to me. But I'm just going to do what I've done all my life. Work my butt off and give it my best effort."

The Chargers peg him as a linebacker. So Underwood, who was a defensive end with the Redbirds, has dropped 20 pounds from his college playing weight to make the position change.

"For me this is football, it's what I've been playing since I was 8-years-old," said Underwood, who will enter camp at 250 pounds. "This is a dream so I'm going to live in the moment, give it my best shot. At the end of the day, I can say I gave it my all."

Football is a business for Underwood now. But he does admit having a business address in San Diego isn't a bad thing.

"Anytime you have free time, you can hit the beach, not something I'm used to coming from Illinois, then staying in Illinois for college," laughed Underwood. "The weather is perfect. It's a great city." 

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