Interview: NFL Receiver Greg Camarillo

Greg Camarillo is the man. From practice squad to NFL receiver, he turned his story into the ultimate story of out kicking one’s coverage. Hard work. Determination. Dream achieved. After a solid NFL career he finds himself helping other student-athletes, sharing his story with the next generation. We caught up with Greg to hear more about his journey.

1) Greg you had a solid NFL career. What was your biggest achievement?

Overall, my biggest achievement is just making an NFL roster. I was a walk-on punter/receiver entering college and never was a starter at Stanford. I got lucky to get an undrafted tryout with the Chargers, an opportunity I capitalized on. After a year on the practice squad, I was able to make the roster and play on special teams. A single achievement would be in Miami when I scored a touchdown against the Chargers, my former team. That moment represented how far I had come from being a practice squad receiver to scoring a touchdown as a starter against my old teammates.

2) Looking back at your NFL career, what would you have done differently?
There’s not much I would have done differently. During the lockout and CBA negotiations, I was not able to work out at the Vikings facility so I stayed in Miami and worked with a personal trainer. I had a very specific diet which greatly helped my training. I wish I would’ve learned about that earlier in my career. 

3) As a receiver, who was the best quarterback to play with?

Chad Pennington was the most receiver friendly quarterback I ever played with. He threw the most catchable balls. He had impeccable timing and accuracy and was also a great communicator. I always knew exactly what he was looking for and where he would throw the ball. In addition, he was a great team leader.

4) Your college career was unique as you started out as a punter. How did you change your game to acclimate to becoming a NFL receiver?
My biggest growth came from being on scout team in both college and the pros. On scout team, you’re going against the first team defense and facing the best corners on the team, usually in situations that favor the defense. Going against the best forces you to improve and hone your skills. 


5) What advice do you have for young High School or college players trying to get noticed?
Have fun while working hard. Sports should be fun but that doesn’t mean joke around. Give it everything you have so you don’t have any regrets but also remember that, ultimately, it’s a game. Getting noticed will come with hard work. Don’t focus on getting recruited. Focus on doing your best and let the rest fall into place. 

 

6) What was your Jewish life like growing up?
I grew up in a multi-racial,  multi-religious house so my life was very unique. I also grew up in a neighborhood with very few Jewish families. I took great pride in my unique background, especially during the holidays. 

 

7) What are you up to these days?

I’m living in San Diego with my wife and three daughters (4.5, 2.5 yrs old and a little baby that’s 1 month). I’m working at University of San Diego focusing on student-athlete development, which is career and leadership growth for our athletes. I’m also an analyst for NBC’s Football Night in San Diego.

8) What is the one thing you miss most about your playing days?I really miss the overall grind. The physical and mental determination of putting all of my energy into something. It’s now very rare that I will exert myself to a physical extreme. I miss the satisfaction from that moment when I knew I gave it everything I had. 

9) Anything else you want to add?

Skol Vikes!
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