He was smart enough to get into Harvard. He was good enough to play at Alabama. Now he’s a New York Giant. Throughout the season, rookie defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson will check in with Giants.com and provide an inside look at his journey of making it to the NFL.
Being in the North, I like it up here. I’m from Georgia and I played at Bama, so I’ve been in the South my whole life. Just being up here is a whole new experience, and I like it. I can’t wait to see where this takes me.
Going through the whole draft process and coming into the NFL has been life-changing. So it’s good to have a lot of cool vets around, and they’re willing to teach us rookies. They’ve been teaching me and critiquing me on my techniques and the plays and all that. It’s helping me learn the playbook quicker, and they’re pretty much helping me all around.
Right after I got drafted, Damon Harrison and Landon Collins were the first guys to reach out to me. Snacks is a cool guy. He said he was excited for the Giants to get me, and he was excited to get to work with me and to help me get better. Now that I’m here, I found out he’s going to make sure you do everything right. You can’t mess something up beside him because he’s going to know it.
Landon and I were in the same recruiting class at Alabama. We were pretty close in college. We always used to play “Call of Duty” together and stuff. We played a lot of video games. He was probably a little better at “Call of Duty” than me back then, but I think I’ve got him now. But we were cool. He reached out to me early on. He was happy to have another Alabama player up here with him. I was excited to play with him because Landon is a great football player and a great person. My favorite memory with him is probably when he got his wisdom teeth pulled and he was trying to play video games during the offseason. That was funny, and now I’m watching him tear it up in the NFL and become an All-Pro. It’s crazy because I played with him at Bama and then to watch him have that much success in the NFL and then to have the opportunity to play with him, it’s exciting.
I feel like Alabama prepared me a lot for the NFL. There are some things that you just have to get up here and experience for yourself, but overall I feel like it prepared me because Coach Saban pretty much runs a pro-style program. It helped me prepare with the long meeting times and breaking down film almost the same way and picking up plays quick because he used to change our game plans and put in new plays every week. So I feel like I’ve picked up on the playbook pretty quickly.
The brotherhood on the defensive side of the ball -- and throughout the whole team really -- is like what we had at Alabama. The brotherhood and the bond, we actually care about each other being successful to help ourselves be successful also. And you see that in the meeting rooms and just throughout the whole defense. We’re always going to keep each other in check and make sure everybody is getting better rather than just yourself. Right now, the team wants to see me come in and contribute as soon as possible. But also I’ve got to make sure I execute the game plans and the plays perfectly before I get in.
Off the field these days, I’m either looking at the playbook, trying to find something to eat, or playing video games. Right now I’m dorming with Avery Moss. He’s laid back, but he’s always pushing himself. He pushes people around him also just to try to become better each time he touches the field. Our whole draft class is pretty cool with each other. A lot of us played each other in college, so we talk about those games. Wayne likes to bring up the national championship last year, but we got Clemson the year before. Evan is just one of those guys, he’s more on the quiet side, but when you start talking about certain things, you see him talking a lot more. Davis is just one of those funny guys who’s always going to make jokes about stuff and keep you laughing.
The vets left after minicamp, but we stick around for a few more days. I’m going to go back home after that. I’ve got some stuff I need to move out of my apartment at Alabama and move back to Georgia. I’ll train down there and come up here a week or two before training camp and start watching film up here and just make sure I know the playbook.