Menu

Five Questions with LaDainian Tomlinson ’05

New team, new city, new addition to his family and a new lease on life. Former TCU football great talks about life during his annual Camp LT visit in Fort Worth.

Five Questions with LaDainian Tomlinson ’05

Tomlinson visited TCU for his annual Camp LT in Fort Worth, just weeks before wife LaTorsha gave birth to their first child, Daylen Oliver.

Five Questions with LaDainian Tomlinson ’05

New team, new city, new addition to his family and a new lease on life. Former TCU football great talks about life during his annual Camp LT visit in Fort Worth.

After nine years as the featured back for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers, LaDainian Tomlinson ’05 now dons shoulder pads in the AFC for the New York Jets. Critics say he doesn’t have much left and that all those carries during his time in San Diego took a huge toll on his body. LT says otherwise. In the meantime, Tomlinson visited TCU for his annual Camp LT in Fort Worth, just weeks before wife LaTorsha gave birth to their first child. We snagged a few minutes with the Frogs’ all-time leading rusher on a break during camp.

You talked to these Camp LT campers about hard work. How has your preparation for football changed now that you’re nearer the end of your career than the beginning?

I still work hard and follow the same routines to get ready for this season as I have past seasons. I eat right, I get my rest and take care of my body. These kids have to be prepared too, but not just athletically. I talked about being respectful to your parents and listening to your teachers. Those are the real heroes in their life, not football players. If they do those things, they’re going to be winners no matter what they try to do, whether it’s sports or whatever they dream of doing.

Were you ready for the end of your time in San Diego?

I prepared myself for the end in San Diego. I could kind of see signs of it coming to an end. I think as a player, you feel that. I had prepared myself that it was my last game, the playoff game. I was actually ready to move on and I knew there was another opportunity out there for me. I looked forward to the opportunity to play for another team and I was fortunate enough to land with a first-class organization like the New York Jets. It’s one thing to talk about winning and how you want to win but it’s another thing for that organization to go out and get guys to prove that they’re trying to win games, and that they want to win now. So it’s a great feeling. I’m very excited for the future of this team.

Your new tattoos depict a Charger lightning bolt on one calf and the Jets logo on the other. Are you ready for the intense media scrutiny that goes with playing in the Big Apple?

I think my time in San Diego, it kind of prepared me for whatever. I obviously had some tremendous years in San Diego and some success. I think that success prepared me for whatever is next in whatever media market I may go to. Playing in a place like New York, it’s the No. 1 media place in the world. I’m prepared for it. It’s going to be fun. They’re always hard on you but I think they’re fair. We’re looking forward to a lot of winning. So hopefully there will be a lot of good talk about the New York Jets.

How proud are you of what TCU has been able to accomplish under Gary Patterson since you left?

I’m very proud. I get to brag in the locker room every week about the Horned Frogs. It’s been great. Ever since I left the program, they have continued the tradition and have gotten better and better each year. Last year was the ultimate in going to a BCS game. The next step for them is to continue that tradition and winning in the BCS game. Then, hopefully we can get to the national championship game and win that game as well.

You’re close to becoming a father. [Wife LaTorsha gave birth to Daylen Oliver on July 8.] Are you ready?

You know, I am. I told LaTorsha on our first date that family was important to me and I wanted to have a large family one day. Not many people know this, but she had a miscarriage five years ago. She was six months along with a baby girl. That was devastating to us, so we consider this pregnancy a blessing. Every heartbeat you hear, every little movement, every kick, we’re just thrilled.