We just got off a conference call with new Seattle Seahawk offensive tackle Russell Okung, who said he was a little overwhelmed by being selected No. 6 overall in this year’s draft.
Okung said he’s excited about being selected by Seattle, and looking forward to coming to town this weekend.
“It’s definitely just a blessing to even be considered,” Okung said. “And I believe Seattle made the best choice.”
Seattle offensive line coach Alex Gibbs said Okung will be the starting tackle from Day 1 for the Seahawks, another signal that Walter Jones is likely retiring.
"He's nasty and football is his life," Gibbs said. "He's so committed to what he wants to do. He doesn't have a lot of fanfare. He doesn't have a lot of side views. He doesn't have a lot of contingencies. He's football."
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had a prolonged conversation with Okung over the phone while he waited in the green room, leaving league commissioner Roger Goodell waiting at the podium.
So what did Carroll say?
“He just pretty much told me how excited they are," Okung said. "They passed the phone around to the other coaches, and they all put their two cents in. I didn't intend to leave the commissioner waiting, but it's a great day and I'm happy."
Carroll twice made treks to Stillwalter, Okla., to better get acquainted with Okung. The trip included going bowling, where Okung admitted to bowling a 50.
“It didn’t go too well on my end, but it was a great game,” Joked Okung.
Okung understands the high expectations placed on him with Walter Jones likely retiring. But he’s ready for the challenge.
"He's a great player and a Pro Bowler, obviously he's a future, Hall of Fame guy," Okung said. "I only hope I can even be as good as him. I'm going to go out there and bust my tail every day. But he's something good I can look forward to being like, and aspire to."
A four-year starter in college, Okung started 47 contests for the Cowboys, including his final 39 at left tackle. He was an Outland Trophy finalist and an All-American. Okung also garnered Big 12 Offensive lineman of the year honors.