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A.J. Dillon "getting some good work in" as Packers' first rookie in town

Posted at 6:56 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 19:56:10-04

(NBC 26) -- "I would say fast-paced," running back A.J. Dillon said about his life since being drafted by the Green Bay Packers at 62nd overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Boston College Eagle spent the draft in California where he was training, separated from family due to the coronavirus outbreak across the United States. FaceTime calls back home to New London, Connecticut celebrated what Dillon calls "the best day of my life."

"It's a kind of roll-your-sleeves-up place and go to work," Dillon said of his hometown. "I carry that with a lot of pride everywhere I go. I got a lot of people back there that are looking up to me, so I just try to carry myself in a positive manner."

Dillon has been in Titletown for nearly three weeks, meaning he spent his birthday on May 2 here alone due to Wisconsin's Safer at Home orders.

"I got a suit, and I got a job, and I'm paying rent, so I'm an adult now," Dillon said. "A lot coming fast, but it's awesome."

In between buying furniture and settling in to the area, Dillon has been carefully studying his new playbook.

"I'm the type of guy who wants to go get it done," Dillon said, which prompted him to connect with Scotty Smith, owner and founder of Synergy Sports Performance, to start training as soon as possible.

His personal football highlights include moments from his time at Lawrence Academy. He rushed for 1,887 yards and 26 touchdowns during his junior season.

"Junior year, I had a really big run against Cheshire Academy," Dillon said. In the season-opening game, Dillon tallied 316 yards on 22 carries, scoring five touchdowns.

Donning maroon and gold for Boston College, Dillon was a three-time first team All-ACC selection from 2017-2019.

"Obviously the Louisville run," Dillon said in a nod to what many consider his breakout game, with four touchdowns and 272 yards against QB Lamar Jackson. "The UConn run was really big to me, my freshman year, being from Connecticut. I had a long run where I scored."

Specifically, Dillon rushed a 53-yard touchdown at Fenway Park, bulldozing through four Huskies defensemen at the goal line.

"The very end of my career, the last six plays I believe against Pitt," Dillon fondly remembers. "They were all run plays, straight to me, to close out the game, close out my career. We got three first downs ... that was really important."

Off the field, Dillon says family comes first. His grandfather, Notre Dame WR and College Football Hall of Famer Thom Gatewood, emphasized the importance in "carrying yourself the right way ... being more than an athlete," according to Dillon.

"I always joke that I think I was like a nerd ... that just got blessed with athleticism," Dillon said. He's passionate about photography, drone videography, and origami.

"I love football. Besides my family, that's next. I invest a lot of time in it, but you do need to take breaks," Dillon said. "That's what the offseason is for, obviously ... I heard there's a lake around [here], I might take my drone out there and take some pictures. I'm fine being solo, doing my own thing sometimes."

He's looking forward to welcoming his friend, quarterback and fellow Packers draft pick Jordan Love to Green Bay. The two have trained together and share representation.

"We joke around all the time," Dillon said of his relationship with Love. "We've gotten to know each other a lot. He's not out here yet, but when he does, I'm sure we'll be hanging out all of the time."

"It's nice, especially [being] quarterback-running back, that relationship," Dillon said. "Both starting off as rookies, it's going to be really cool."

Dillon has already been in touch with some of the team's running backs, including Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.

"They've welcomed me with open arms," Dillon said. "I'm just trying to learn the offense and be able to help the team the best I can."