Defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron from Old Dominion University went undrafted, but signed a contract with the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Cameron has arguably been the most impressive player since the Old Dominion program was restarted in 2009. He earned the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year this past season as well as CAA Football Student-Athlete of the Year and All-American honors from seven different sources.
He was second on the defense in 2011 with 73 tackles. He had a team leading 17 tackles-for-loss and 6.5 sacks.
Considering the Bears didn't select a defensive tackle throughout the draft and watched Amobi Okoye and Anthony Adams leave the team this off-season, Cameron has a legit shot to earn a roster spot.
I had the chance to catch up with Ronnie and he talked about the person he credits to getting him to this point, which NFL player he compares himself too and much more.
Here's the interview with Bears rookie defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron.
BB: Was it always your dream to play in the NFL? Are you excited to be in the city of Chicago playing for such a historic franchise?
RC: Since I was young, it was always a dream to play in the NFL and in the last couple years it became a concrete goal because of my performance on the field. I'm elated to be a part of the Chicago Bears franchise, it’s a first class organization with a history of winning and hopefully I'll be able to add to that.
BB: What do you feel is your biggest strength?
RC: My biggest strength is my quickness and first step. This allows me to penetrate into gaps with great success. That’s why I thought me being able to be apart of the Bears was a perfect fit.
BB: What do you feel is your biggest weakness?
RC: Biggest weakness which I've been working on is pad level, playing in college you can get away with playing high but in the NFL it’s a different story and now playing with proper technique is paramount.
BB: Which NFL player do you most compare yourself to on the field?
RC: Growing up I watched a ton of John Randle and Warren Sapp and I think I've been able to mimic my game after that. In today's age I feel like I try to follow a guy such as Cullen Jenkins.
BB: Who is the person that you credit to getting you to this point?
RC: I credit my parents to getting me to this point. They came into this country with nothing and built a lot of success and I’ve always thought I should follow suit and make the most out of every opportunity that comes my way.
BB: In terms of off the field and personality, what will an NFL franchise be getting with Ronnie Cameron?
RC: Even off the field I feel like I’m a driven person who wants to genuinely help people. I find a lot of joy in talking to and mentoring young kids to help them see that there is so much to life if they take the right steps. For the most part I’m a low-key person that enjoys books and movies.
BB: What does your pregame warmup consist of?
RC: Pregame warmup for me isn’t scripted or defined, I listen to random music and just try to stay loose, I don’t really get charged up before games. I just relax and envision success during the game.
BB: What artists/songs are typically part of your warmup playlist?
RC: It varies. I’m a big Kanye West, Fabolous and Andre 3000 fan, but I can also switch it up and slow it down and listen to John Legend or Bob Marley before a game. So its really whatever pops up I listen to.
BB: What is a fact that some people may not know about you?
RC: Grew up a computer nerd more than a jock, I built my first computer when I was 9.
BB: Do you have a nickname that your teammates and friends call you? How did that come about?
RC: Since Freshman year in college I was called ‘Ron the Don.’ A senior from Hofstra gave me that name because I always acted a lot older then the rest and it just happened to stick.
BB: Are you a big social media guy?
RC: I spend an okay amount of time on social media. I have a Twitter and an Instagram, both are @RonDon96. And I keep up with my family on Facebook.
BB: What is your favorite part of football?
RC: Sheer joy on Saturdays, now Sundays in just running around and hitting people, especially QBs. Being able to run around and impose your will on other people and still smile about it. It's a great feeling.
BB: Are you glad to be done with the whole draft process and be part of a team?
RC: Absolutely relieved, the process started in December and it couldn’t have been over fast enough and I’m glad I ended up where God wanted me to be wearing blue and orange.
BB: Have any of the Bears players contacted you since you came to terms with the team?
RC: Not as of yet, only a couple other rookie free agents who I've known for a while who are now apart of the Bears organization.
Don't forget to follow Ronnie Cameron on Twitter, @RonDon96.
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