Sam LaPorta has hit the ground running since being drafted by the Detroit Lions, making an instant impression at rookie minicamp and carrying that into a standout showing at OTAs. It feels like a formality that he'll officially take the No. 1 spot on the tight end depth chart.
But there are certainly a lot of things a rookie can learn, and "Tight End U" is a unique opportunity for those who play the position. Created by Greg Olsen, Travis Kelce and George Kittle, held annually in Nashville, "Tight End U" has grown over the years into a big event with sponsors.
For LaPorta to be invited to "Tight End U" as a rookie is pretty huge, But it's not necessarily surprising he was, given Kittle is a fellow Iowa alum and how the 49ers' tight end has talked about LaPorta this offseason. He also worked out with Kittle this offseason.
Sam LaPorta talks about his first experience at 'Tight End U'
Via the NFL's Twitter account, LaPorta talked about his experience at "Tight End U" a couple weeks ago. Safe to say there was some star-gazing going on, but not too much.
"“We got a YAC talk from Gronk (Rob Gronkowski). We got a pass game breakdown from (Travis) Kelce. He had run blocking from George (Kittle) too.- Sam LaPorta
“We got to operate around a bunch of guys that I grew up watching like Greg Olsen — he is intense — and Travis Kelce. Watching them break down tape and seeing how they operate on the field was really, really cool.”"
The yearly tight end summit mixes classroom and on-field work to give attendees an all-around learning and growth experience, with the chance to learn from some of the best tight ends in the business--even recent retirees like Gronkowski and Olsen. LaPorta took the opportunity, in his effort to get better and make a seamless transition as a rookie.