Rookie defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer checks in for his first Rookie Diary.
First of all, it was very important for me to sign and get here in camp from the start. I wanted to get here and build chemistry with my teammates and get into the playbook and acclimated with this system. Thankfully everything worked well and I've been here since day one.
The first couple of days went really fast. There were a lot of growing pains in there and there still is. That comes with the territory of being a rookie. When you are learning a new playbook and a whole new system, there will be some ups and downs. I just have to take them in stride.
One thing that I'm also having to take in stride is this ankle sprain. It happened on Tuesday morning during 9-on-7. Somebody fell down and I didn't have my feet moving like I should have, so I just got rolled up. It comes with the territory. It's a violent game. It's definitely frustrating. You want to be out there, sweating with your teammates, working hard and you can't do that on the sidelines. There's always the saying you can't make the club in the tub and that's one that I live by. I'm getting in there with the athletic trainers and just trying to do everything I can to get back out there as soon as possible. Because, it's tough being out. You see mistakes on film that you want to correct and you can't get out there.
The setup for camp stay at the hotel is nice. We've got everything we need. We have constant food and beverages over there, and it's only a hop and a skip from the facility. They've got shuttles back and forth for us and everything has been first class.
My roommate during camp is Louis Holmes. It's a long camp and both of us have been so tired that we usually fall asleep around the same time, so who knows who is snoring. We probably sound like two grizzlies in the room, there's no telling.
I sang for the first time in Tuesday night's team meeting. I thought I did a pretty good job with my Tar Heels fight song. I personally think if anyone out there is looking for a hot, new singer or the next American Idol, they should come check me out. Granted I got booed and all from my teammates, but that's okay. I think the best singer so far has been J.J. Finley. He sang Usher, Nice & Slow. He got the standup applause.
Being a rookie around here isn't too bad though, singing and all. Ronald Fields is always calling me Pork Chops, and that's started to catch on but even I am answering to it and everything. He makes me carry his helmet every day and again, it just comes with the territory. It's all fun and laughs.
I try to watch Justin Smith and follow whatever he does when he's not looking because he's been around for a while. He takes care of himself very well, as does Jonas Jennings. They do a lot of good stuff to take care of their bodies, so I kind of follow their routines.
I try to talk to my family every other day. They call to check on me and see how my morale is. It's good to hear from them and I appreciate their support so much. I was actually on the phone with my mother yesterday and she was asking how my fellow rookies were all doing. I told her that one of my best friends on the team is an offensive lineman in Chilo Rachal, who I go against every day. We are battling on most every play and we're really trying to make each other better. Metal sharpens metal so that's what we are doing. He's a heck of a competitor and it's good for both of us to push each other.
We compete hard out at practice and then off the field, we just kick it about other stuff.
We have tonight off from meetings and so I'm going to rest up, do some rehab on the ankle, lay back, watch television, and catch up on my sleep.
I haven't had to take the vets out to dinner yet, but I know it's coming. I look forward to being able to sit down with everyone away from football and enjoy ourselves, on me of course. But because of the ankle, probably not tonight!