By Travis Boland, T&D Sports Editor
Days after finishing their first mini-camp, Los Angeles Rams rookies were treated to an encouraging message from family back home.
The Rams media team caught the reactions of each rookie in a video they shared on their Twitter feed. Lamar native and former SC State standout Decobie Durant was filmed hearing his mom send a special message.
“It was a blessing to hear her voice,” Durant said.
Durant has been in Los Angeles the last few months taking part in the Rams OTAs (organized team activities) and mandatory mini-camp.
“It was fun to be with the other draft picks, and rookies at camp,” Durant said. “We were able to build a quick bond through the events and activities the NFL Players Association planned for us.”
Los Angeles selected Durant in the fourth-round of this year’s NFL Draft. He recently signed his rookie contract worth $4.1 million over the next four seasons with a signing bonus guaranteed worth $504,336.
Unlike many rookies, Durant has not made any extravagant purchases after signing his first deal. He’s continuing to get acclimated to his new home away from home.
“I haven’t visited Disneyland, or had an In-and-Out Burger,” Durant said. “Most of my time is spent taking part in team activities. (Los Angeles) is great. Coming from a small town (Lamar) there are a lot of new experiences.”
When asked about the biggest adjustment on the field, Durant said the speed in which the game is played.
“Things get faster at each level,” Durant said. “I’ve always worked to make myself one-percent better every time I take the field. Right now, I’m just taking everything day-by-day.”
During mini-camp, Durant said he tried to learn as much as he could from teammate Jalen Ramsey. The three-time All-Pro cornerback is entering his fourth season with the Rams.
“He has taught me how to dial in when I’m on the field,” Durant said of Ramsey. “He has taken me under his wing, and taught me a lot. I’m lucky to have him take the time to mentor me in my first season.”
Los Angeles cut their mini-camp short giving Durant and the rest of the team a few weeks to rest before training camp begins. Durant said he hasn’t heard much from the coaches, but he tends to be his harshest critic.
“I have to do a better job of being vocal on the field,” Durant said. “Making sure to have better communication with my teammates, and knowing what to do on checks. Training camp is scheduled for late July, and those will be full-go practices.”
For now, Durant will continue to explore Los Angeles while staying in touch with the ones he loves nearly 3,000 miles away.
“(In the video) I got the chance to hear from my mom and my sister,” Durant said. “Just to know that my whole family is proud of me. This is just the beginning.”