This one has been in the works for a while. It was delayed at least 3 times, sometimes due to my schedule and sometime due to Louis'. At one point my wife joked that I was ducking Louis, who is 9 inches taller and at least 130 lbs heavier than me. I wasn't ducking him, but that doesn't mean I wasn't nervous about possibly pissing him off during the course of the interview.
Louis' agent puts those fears to rest when we scheduled an interview for last week. I made some joke about not wanting to anger Vasquez because "he could kill me accidentally in his sleep" and the thought of what he could do while awake was enough to make me shake. It was just a joke, but the agent's response was telling. He laughed and then said "The pictures you've seen and what's been written about Louis up until this point is the opposite of who he is. When he's not on the field, Louis is one of the nicest people to talk to. He truly is a gentle giant."
During my phone call with him I found him to be exactly that. Louis is everything you could want in a rookie offensive lineman. He's big and strong, but all he really cares about in terms of football is winning the game. He's got personality, but he definitely seems like he'd prefer a BBQ in his backyard with his family over a night of clubbing. He'll do just fine in the NFL. My interview with him is after the jump.
Alright, I'm going to start with an apology. I talked to Louis the day before he left for San Diego, so I only had a limited time. Because of this, I skipped a couple of my original questions....including one I really wanted an answer to. The question was "Do you think you're any less of a run blocker for playing in Texas Tech's pass-heavy offense?" Unfortunately, unless he decides to sign up and post an answer in the comments, that question will have to wait for another time. Without further ado, the interview:
Did you have any idea the Chargers were going to draft you?
I had no clue. I had no communication with them whatsoever. Come draft day I get a call from California and I didn't know who it was. I picked it up and it was the Chargers, letting me know that they were using the next draft pick to select me. I was pretty excited but I was shocked at the same time because, like I said, I had no communication with them.
Were there teams that you had communication with and you had heard they were going to pick you?
Yeah. I figured I was going to go to Cleveland, Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia being the top two. After the Chargers drafted me I looked to see who was next and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh were right behind them. That's where I figured I was going to go. Right after they chose me I saw that the Eagles traded down, so I guess they were waiting to pick me up.
Growing up outside of Dallas, were you a big Cowboys fan?
Yeah, my whole family is. They said it's going to be hard whenever we play the Cowboys, to cheer for me and then the Cowboys. They're probably going to side with the Cowboys because the Cowboys have been there for so long.
Do you have a favorite Offensive Lineman? Someone you try to model yourself after?
I like the way Larry Allen played when he was in his prime. I used to follow him a lot back when he was winning Super Bowls with the Cowboys.
Were you surprised that you did the most reps on the bench press at the Scouting Combine?
I was a little surprised when I heard I did the most. I figured I'd at least be up there, but I didn't think I was going to have the most. I figured there'd be some guys up there that were maybe a little stronger, but I was happy with the performance I put up.
Do you think there will be much difference in moving from Left Guard to Right Guard?
Nah, not too much. It's really the same position just on the other side, so everything is the same. I actually had a chance to work both left and right during OTAs, so I got accustomed to the right side and the left side is just natural to me.
So playing on the right side of the line in OTAs, it wasn't that difficult to pick it up?
Nah. The only thing that I had to adjust to was the right-handed stance. After a day or so it became comfortable to me so it wasn't such a big deal.
What chance do you give yourself to win the starting RG position out of training camp?
From what I hear, from what the coaches have told me, the Right Guard position is open. So I'm going to try my hardest to become the starting Right Guard for the Chargers.
How do you think Michael Crabtree will do as a 49er?
I think Crabtree will do pretty good. I played with him for the last couple years and I know his work ethic on the field and the kid works his heart out.
What is your favorite movie?
I really don't have a favorite movie. I have favorite genres that I like to watch. I like comedies and action movies. I really don't have a favorite one. Those are the main two types of movies I like to watch.
What has been your proudest moment as a football player?
There's been numerous ones. One of the biggest is being a part of the greatest comeback in bowl history when we played Minnesota in the Insight Bowl. Another being one of the first Texas Tech teams to ever beat Texas and the fact that they were number one at that point in time was pretty big as well. And just the fact that I'm blessed to make it this far, I'm pretty proud of that.
What's on your iPod?
I listen to a lot of Lil' Wayne, Young Jeezy. I listen to some country, it just depends on my mood. I listen to everything, from 80s rock, rap, hip-hop, R&B. Some Bahama music, that's just a custom with my ethnicity and all that. Like I said, it just depends on my mood.
What's your favorite tattoo that you have and what does it mean to you?
Um....I don't have it yet, but I'm gonna get one. It's going to be my family crest on my back, my whole entire back. My uncles and my dad are getting it as well. It's just a representation of our family and means, to me, that family comes first.
What do you want to say to the Chargers fans?
Look out for me in the upcoming season. We're going to try our hardest to bring a Super Bowl Championship home to San Diego.
Do you have any thoughts about Bolts From The Blue? Any tips you want to send our way? Whenever you have something to say, don't hesitate to e-mail me directly.