NASHVILLE – Dillon Radunz grew up in Minnesota, and he went to college in North Dakota.
So, his NFL rookie minicamp experience in sunny Nashville last weekend provided him opportunities beyond just the football stuff.
"I'm enjoying getting a tan out here, down in the South, instead of being up in Fargo," said a smiling Radunz, who was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Titans. "So that's nice."
Right now, of course, Radunz is a shade of green, and we're not talking about his old uniform color at North Dakota State.
Like all the rookies, the 6-foot-6, 301-pound offensive lineman is inexperienced, and learning his way.
But he's far from lost.
"It's not overwhelming," Radunz said. "Yeah, there's a curve there in certain areas, (but) not in all areas. I feel like I was pretty prepared from my coaches at NDSU. Obviously, there's new things to learn when you are going into a new offense, and technique-wise, what the coach wants you to do. I'm just trying my best to adjust and adapt to what they want me to do.
"It has been going well. Just learning the new playbook and getting this new system, it has been going well so far."
Radunz, selected with the 53rd overall of the draft, has a chance to make an impact for the Titans as a rookie.
At North Dakota State, Radunz played left tackle, and he played it well. A first-team team FCS All-American, Radunz allowed zero sacks in his last two seasons while protecting quarterback Trey Lance's blindside. Lance was the third overall pick, by the 49ers, in the NFL Draft.
With the Titans, he's expected to work at a number of positions, from right tackle to guard.
During his college career, Radunz played in 33 career games, with 32 starts. He was part of four Missouri Valley Football Conference championship teams and three NCAA Division I football national championships and was a two-time FCS All-American.
After playing in just one game in 2020 because of NDSU's COVID-shortened season, Radunz is first getting used to playing football again. Back in January, Radunz was named the top overall practice player of the week at the 2021 Senior Bowl in Mobile.
"I am just getting back to work," he said. "I'm getting to know my new teammates, getting to know my coach, learning the playbook. It's been fun just because I only played on game last year."
Among his goals at the start: Improving his footwork.
And, of course, learning the playbook.
"The better you know the playbook, the better you know the plays, the faster you're going to play," he said. "It just comes down to mentally knowing the playbook and knowing all the play calls. There will be more terminology because it's pro-style football now, and it's a little more than college. You just have to learn all that and I am doing my best to do that. I feel like I am picking it up pretty well. And once you pick it all up you will be able to play really fast and I have no doubt that I am going to get there."
Titans offensive line coach Keith Carter challenged his newcomers at the start to play with "speed and violence."
Radunz plans to do just that.
And now, the rookie is on his way.
"You just try and come out and make an impression," he said. "Coach (Mike) Vrabel talks about how (he wants you) to make an impression on everybody that day. So come out every day and give your best, and make sure people remember you by the end of the day."