*Daryn Colledge enters his first NFL training camp with as much pressure as any rookie could have.
He's already been penciled into the starting lineup at left guard, and now he's got six weeks to get ready to take on the NFL.
Colledge, one of the Packers' second-round draft picks, grew up in North Pole, Alaska, a town of less than 2,000 people located 14 miles southeast of Fairbanks. He went on to a decorated college football career at Boise State, where he set school records for games played and started with 52.
In April, he became the highest-ever NFL draft choice from the state of Alaska - and the eighth overall - when he was picked 47th overall by the Packers.
Colledge has to work extremely hard to make the impact that's expected of him in 2006, and he'll keep Packers fans updated in this Training Camp Diary.
In this first installment, he discusses getting his contract signed, moving into the dorms at St. Norbert, and practicing under the lights on Friday night.*
Daryn Colledge: Now that we've started practicing, the contract is starting to seem like the easiest part of the deal. That got done so quick and now there's all this hard work. It's nice to have that done and it's nice to clear your plate and know you're going to be fine for a little while, but now it's down to getting back to work.
Jason Spitz is my roommate for camp. It's always hard to move. Me and my wife just got a brand new place, so it's hard to be away from the house and her. It's a long time to have to stay at St. Norbert. The beds are a little small, the rooms are a little small, but that's life and that's part of becoming a team and working through the struggles together.
Friday was a struggle. The first day of camp is always the hardest. You don't have your football legs. You're in shape to run but you're not in shape to play football and getting the pads on. It was a long, hard day for me and you have to work through that stuff and hopefully keep getting better.
We've had evening practices before but having the lights there and Lambeau in the background and all the people to watch us play, that's something special. The fans around here are amazing. The whole atmosphere of this area, you can't even describe it. It's just incredible. It's a whole new experience and it's awesome.
At the end of OTAs and the first mini-camp, I was starting to get what's going on and I wasn't really a rookie anymore, but they put you in training camp and you're right back at it again, you're a rookie all over. You're out of shape, everybody's doing a little better than you are, everybody knows what they're doing a little better than you. You definitely have to keep up and roll with the punches.
Just having the pads on creates a whole different tempo, running around with those and hitting each other. It's extremely tiring compared to OTAs. Plus camp practices are a lot longer. It's a different level of fitness and it's what you need to make it through the season.
Boise doesn't have much humidity, and neither does Alaska, so when we practice in humidity it's hard. I'm slowly making the adjustment, I'm getting better each day at handling it. I think it's going to be one of the things I fight the longest.
You just have to stay better hydrated and pay attention to what you're doing and don't allow yourself to get into a situation that's dangerous or put you in a bad mental state. If you get dehydrated, you start getting a little loopy you don't know what's going on.
Nobody is going to let you in on any of the secrets or the horror stories of training camp, they're going to wait and see if anything happens. But it's been a good camp so far and hopefully tomorrow we can get better.