Titans OL Sebastian Tretola Not Just Happy to Be Here

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sebastian Tretola has a big personality to match his big body.

The former Arkansas offensive lineman entertained reporters on a conference call immediately after being drafted by the Titans, and when the rookies took the field during this past weekend's minicamp, he was bubbly in the locker room afterward.

Back in college, he was a popular guy with his teammates, and classmates.

That doesn't mean he's not serious when it comes to his job, however. Tretola knows that now more than ever.

"It's been intense. It has definitely been intense,'' Tretola said following the team's rookie minicamp practice on Friday. "This is our job now, and I think that is the biggest part of this transition. You don't have school. You don't have study hall any more. You need to know the playbook, and you need to be where you are supposed to be on time. We are learning that here very quickly."

The Titans selected the 6-foot-4, 320-pound Tretola in the sixth round (193rd overall) of the NFL Draft. Tretola started all 13 games at left guard last season and 24 straight contests to close his career at Arkansas. He allowed one sack on the season to help Arkansas lead the SEC in fewest sacks allowed for the third straight season. He earned an 80 percent offensive grade in 10 of 13 games, according to Arkansas.

He plans to be in the mix for a starting spot at the guard position this fall.

"I come in with the mindset to play,'' he said. "I am trying to be a starting guard in this league, and a great guard in this league – that's rookie year all the way until 12, 13, 14, 15th year I plan on playing here. That is my mindset the entire time."

Chance Warmack is expected to start at one of the guard spots for the Titans, but coach Mike Mularkey has said the team could work him some at left guard. Warmack has spent his first three NFL seasons on the right side. Jeremiah Poutasi, a third-round pick a year ago, will also be in the competition at guard, along with Quinton Spain and Josue Matias. The Titans signed veteran Ben Jones, who has experience at guard, but he's the favorite to be the team's starting center.

Tretola said being a later round pick is something that will motivate him.

"I was definitely mad about that,'' Tretola admits. "I definitely think I should have gone higher, but at the same time I am blessed and extremely, extremely happy that I am here with the Titans now. I am ready to play."

Tretota worked on the left and right side at guard over the weekend during minicamp. First-round pick Jack Conklin did the same thing at the tackle position.

Mularkey said the team wants to see the players at both sides. The Titans are looking at a number of other players – on both sides of the football -- at multiple spots as well, Mularkey said.

"You try to put as much on them and see how much they can (do),'' Mularkey said. "But you also don't want to put them in a situation where they have a chance to fail. You don't want them to lose their confidence the first time they are out here.

"(Tretola) worked both sides, and even in walk-thru I saw him work a little bit at tackle."

Tretola smiled when talking about the feeling of putting on an NFL helmet for the first time, with the Titans logo.

Something else that excites him: Having running back Derrick Henry in his draft class, and in the backfield behind him.

"He is massive,'' Tretola said of last year's Heisman Trophy winner. "Obviously we played Alabama and we saw him but having him run behind you is a whole different ballgame. He is a huge dude, he knows what he is doing back there, and he is a big, powerful back. So it should definitely be fun."

The Titans select Arkansas G Sebastian Tretola in the sixth round (193rd overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. (AP Photos)

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