With mandatory mini-camp and organized team activities done, recently drafted Indianapolis Colt Ulrick John is planning to come home during the break — but he doesn’t plan to sit around and rest.
“I’ll be home during the break … training …getting ready for camp,” the former Bradwell Institute and Georgia State University lineman said. “I need to be in the best shape of my life so I can try and earn a spot on the roster.”
The Colts’ training camp starts July 23 in Anderson, Indiana, and John said he knows those will be the days where the coaches will watch and decide which players make the final cut.
John said he has learned a lot since being picked by the Colts in the seventh round of the NFL draft last month.
“Mainly, that it’s a much faster game at this level,” he said.
John said he was pleased with the way the veteran players welcomed the rookies, saying he’s made a few new friends already.
“I have a pretty good relationship with all the vets,” John said. “Everyone is willing to help all of the rookies because they want to be the best, and they know it takes everyone.”
John is realistic. He knows once training camp starts everyone will be competing for a spot, friends or not.
In high school, John worked hard to be an excellent lineman in the Tigers’ program. At Georgia State, he saw action as a true freshman. His natural talent and athletic versatility got noticed during his sophomore year, when he started at three different positions — left tackle, center and left guard — in the first five games of the season. He started in 10 of 11 games his junior year at left tackle. Last season, his senior year, John was honorable-mention All-Sun Belt Conference and started 11 games at left tackle.
Learning the Colts’ playbook was a task, John said, but it was another task he felt he handled well.
“I wasn’t surprised at all with the amount of studying,” he said, adding it was different from what he experienced in college. “I knew it would be a lot more, and I’ve gotten used to it.”
John is the first player ever from Liberty County to be drafted by an NFL team. According to nfl.com, he was taken with the 17th pick in the seventh round, 232nd overall.
Indianapolis is coming off an 11-5 record and first place in the AFC South Division.