Western Michigan University
In my latest interview I had the opportunity to talk with Dallas Walker. He is a rookie Tight End for your San Diego Chargers. I am guaranteeing that you are going to like this guy and root for him to make the team. Leading up to the interview I exchanged several direct messages with him via Twitter. He seems like a genuinely cool guy that is a hard-working man of strong faith.
Enough of me talking about it and onto the interview. Enjoy.
Booga: Let’s start the interview off by you giving the fans a short personal bio about you.
Dallas Walker. I’m 25 years old. I play Tight End and played college ball at Western Michigan. I went to high school at MRA, which is in the small town of Madison, MS. My wife of 1 year and I now live in Chattanooga, TN, where my Mom and three younger brothers live as well.
Booga: What did you learn from the game of football in college that has helped you earn the opportunity in the NFL with the Chargers?
Dallas: I think the biggest thing I’ve learned over the years, especially through college ball, is that there are a lot of things that go on that you can’t always control, that’s life. Things on the field, as well as off the field may not always go the way you intend them to, but the main thing with that is to control what you can control– attitude and effort– and everything else will fall into place from there. Take advantage of every opportunity that’s given and make the most of every day that God blesses and entrusts us with.
Booga: You spent 3 years at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Having lived in Kalamazoo myself for quite some time, what is it that you’ll miss the most about the city and the college?
Dallas: I think anytime you leave a place you’ve been at for a number of years that you’re going to miss those close friends you made and teammates that you were close with the most. The city itself I liked because it was different…covered in snow most of the time ha. It was a nice city that was small but still had enough things to do and enjoy.
Booga: Prior to being signed by San Diego, you played in the Ultimate Indoor Football League for the Georgia Rampage. How is the style of the game different from that of the NFL?
Dallas: The style of arena football is completely different. The field is so much smaller, so naturally it changes depths of routes and all that stuff. I only played in 2 games with the team and the main thing with that was, in the event I got a shot with an NFL team, I didn’t want it being a situation where I headed straight into OTA’s/camp with a team after not having had a helmet or pads on and not competed in over a year. So I was fortunate enough to get involved with the UIFL team I was with, and be able to get a couple of games in.
Booga: Mark Bramblett, coach of the Rampage, was quoted as saying while describing you as a player, “He runs phenomenal routes and has really good hands.” Those are quite the compliments. How does that make you feel to have a coach say that about you after him knowing you for such a short time?
Dallas: It’s something that I’ve worked at hard and take pride in so it definitely feels good to have a coach say that about you, but at the same time I’m nowhere near where I want to be and feel like I can be so I’m just continuing to work and get better every day.
Booga: After seeing you at the Super Regional combine in Dallas, the Chargers snagged you up awfully quick. What was that like and what was your first thought when you realized you were getting a shot in the NFL?
Dallas: It was a blessing from God is all I can say. I had faith that it would happen but it was really a matter of when, so I just ensured that when that time came, that I was in shape and was ready to show what I was capable of doing and that I can play. In my situation, after not getting a lot of exposure in the passing game my senior year in college, I kind of went unnoticed obviously, and didn’t get picked up anywhere. So after being out for a whole year and training everyday, you’re really just going off of faith at that point. I just thank God for allowing me to be in this position and the Chargers for giving me the opportunity.
Booga: What is it like being in a position group that includes Antonio Gates?
Dallas: It’s awesome man. Gates is a great player, great guy. Any time you get to come in as a rookie and learn from an All-Pro and future Hall-of-Famer, it’s pretty special and rare. It’s almost like having a second coach out there. Antonio has been around so long and been successful against so many different defenses… he’s seen it all and is able and willing to help out the other tight ends when we need it.
Booga: What is your favorite movie?
Dallas: Remember the Titans, without a doubt.
Booga: It has been mentioned that you have the ability to add a special teams contribution to the team. Talk a little bit about what you have to offer in that aspect of the game.
Dallas: Definitely. Special Teams is an area that I played in college and really liked and something that comes with playing the tight end position in general. Wherever the coaching staff feels like I can help and contribute in that aspect of the game, I’ll go at it with everything I’ve got.
Booga: What is your favorite part about being in San Diego? Not just on the football field but out in the city.
Dallas: I would have to say just being on the coast and the seafood. Growing up and living in Mississippi and Tennessee and then going to college in Michigan, you’re not around the ocean a whole lot ha. And the 75 degree sunny weather everyday isn’t bad either.
Booga: Has there been a Charger that has taken you under their wing, so to speak? And if so, what have you learned from them?
Dallas: I feel like with this team, everyone is pretty outgoing and social for the most part and willing to really take the new guys in. There have been multiple guys on the team that have reached out to me since I got there. Obviously, as far as guys in my position group, we all hit it off pretty well. If I had to pick one older guy in particular though, I would have to say Danny Woodhead. Even though he’s new to the Chargers, he’s already been in the league a few years and has been around a lot of stuff. I’ve been able to spend some time with him and his family outside of football since I’ve been in San Diego so far.
Booga: Training camp is sneaking up. What will you be doing to relax until that begins?
Dallas: Ha, not too much relaxing down here in Chattanooga. I took a day or two off after I flew in last week but really just training hard, getting in as good of shape as I can be in for camp so I can compete and be at my best, and studying the playbook. Outside of that, spending time with my family as much as I can before I take off.
Booga: What are you listening to on your iPod right now?
Dallas: Too much. I like a wide range of music…. I would say Christian or Country music is what’s on there playing the majority of the time.
Booga: What would it mean to you to make this team?
Dallas: It’s difficult to put into words man. It would be a dream come true and a blessing no doubt. It’s what I’ve worked for my whole life. It’s what you think about and work towards from that very first time you put on a helmet and grab a football as a kid.
Booga: When you make the squad, what do I have to do to get a Walker jersey?
Dallas: Ha, just say the word bro and you got it.
Many thanks go out to Dallas for taking the time to answer all of my questions. As I mentioned above, this is a guy that I truly hope makes the team. Whether it be the 53 man roster or the practice squad, I feel like he’s one of those guys you want on your team. In only two UIFL games he scored 4 touchdowns on 10 receptions. If you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow him, @DWalk_1, and thank him for letting us in on who he is as a person and a football player.
Thanks a lot for reading.