Panini America on Location: More Photos, Fun at 2011 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere
LOS ANGELES — Stevan Ridley, the New England Patriots rookie running back by way of LSU, is a self-proclaimed “country boy” with an affinity for hunting and fishing. Titus Young, the Detroit Lions wide receiver from Boise State (and South Central Los Angeles), painstakingly scrutinizes his own signature and is not the least bit afraid to switch it up his signing style many times during the same session.
Oh, I learned plenty more about the next class of NFL superstars during Thursday’s second day of the 2011 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere. Like . . .
- There may not be two more photogenic rookies in the league this year than fellow SEC greats Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons) and Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers). Stay tuned later today for an exclusive video that proves our point with Jones.
- Jacksonville Jaguars first-round pick Blaine Gabbert listens to all types of music — but he prefers country.
- Jonathan Baldwin (Kansas City Chiefs) and Jake Locker (Tennessee Titans) are dedicated signing machines that place an emphasis on both consistent legibility and routine-based expeditiousness.
- The Oakland Raiders’ Taiwan Jones, the St. Louis Rams’ Austin Pettis and the Titans’ Jamie Harper are avid Tweeters.
- This year more than any other, it’s en vogue for players to sign with headphones streaming music into their ears.
- The Buffalo Bills’ Marcell Dareus and the Denver Broncos’ Von Miller both possess personalities commiserate with their huge playmaking ability.
Indeed, you spend the kind of quality time with these players at a unique event like the Rookie Premiere, and you’ll leave with a whole new appreciation for the NFL’s next generation. I know I did — and there’s still two full days remaining.
Below is a gallery of day two’s highlights.