It was a long day for former Michigan guard Steve Schilling, but ended as a happy one
It had been a long day in the Schilling household.
Being on the West Coast for Saturday’s final day of the NFL Draft meant being awake and presentable by 9 a.m. local time. Considering former Michigan guard Steve Schilling thought he could be taken early Saturday, he had to be awake.
Then the wait began.
The fourth round passed. Then the fifth and most of the sixth. What had been a festive party at the start of the day started to turn somber.
Schilling had watched almost every pick, but had stepped away from the television and his cell phone, handing it off to a friend as he took a moment away.
Then Schilling’s friend yelled, ‘You’ve got a phone call’ as San Diego was on the clock with the 201st pick of the draft. He grabbed the phone and went into the laundry room -- located between the family room and living room of his parents' single-level Bellevue, Wash., home.
“I could see into both rooms and both rooms were just staring into the door,” Schilling said by phone Saturday night. “When I got onto the phone with Mr. (A.J.) Smith, the general manager, I think he said something about, ‘Is everybody happy?’
“And I realized I hadn’t told anybody in my family, so I pulled the phone down and just yelled ‘Chargers.’”
His brother looked up, somewhat confused. The Chargers hadn’t appeared interested in Schilling. He hadn’t heard from any of their scouts or had any interviews with the team.
So Schilling said it again. His brother stood up and said ‘Chargers?’ Schilling said ‘Yeah.’
And everyone in the house started to scream.
“It was pretty cool,” Schilling said.
Suddenly, what had been a tense situation -- Schilling said there was some concern by that point that he wouldn't be drafted at all -- became a joyous one.
Text messages and phone calls started flooding in. Schilling sent one to former Michigan teammate Jonas Mouton, who remains his teammate after being drafted by the Chargers in the second round Friday, saying ‘What’s up, teammate?’
Mouton’s response, jokingly, said he told San Diego to draft him.
His brother and sister told Schilling earlier in the week they were pulling for San Diego, perhaps the best weather destination in the entire league.
“He’s a big body, a good guy to work with,” San Diego director of college scouting John Spanos said on the Chargers’ website. "Our coaches are excited about what he brings. We all think he’ll fit in real well with our current group of o-linemen.
“He kind of has a good demeanor about him, tough, physical guy. An overachiever. So we’re excited about adding him to the mix in the o-line.”
Part of what San Diego liked about Schilling is his versatility. He started at both guard and tackle in his career at Michigan and the Chargers already told him they are going to look at him at both spots. He’s also working on snapping, too, as potential center.
So while it was a long day, it ended up being a fruitful one for the 6-foot-4, four-year starter at Michigan.
“Not going until the end of 6, sitting and pretty much watching all three rounds, it was a long day as it went on,” Schilling said. “The mood ... with lots of people here, got a little more somber and people started to think it might not happen.
“Then the Chargers called and it turned into a happy day.”