Meet the Cardinals' rookies as mini-camp opens

Posted at 10:46 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-14 01:47:09-04

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns had the day off today as they lick their wounds from last night and gear up for Sunday’s game 7. Meanwhile, the newest Arizona Cardinals took the field for the first time as rookie mini-camp got underway Friday morning.

With the trade for Hollywood Brown, tight end Trey McBride is the top of the rookie class as the second-round pick, and we learned quickly that his energy is infectious. 

"I'm a high energy guy, I love this game," said McBride, a Colorado State product. "This game's given a lot to me, and I'm full of energy all the time."

Third-round pick Cam Thomas idolizes J.J. Watt, while fellow edge rusher Myjai Sanders is well on his way to making a better life for himself, a goal he formed with his sister before she was tragically killed six years ago by a drunk driver.

"We were real tight. The funny thing is, she taught me how to play all the sports I know how to play," said Sanders, a former Cincinnati Bearcat. "I play with that chip on my shoulder every day. I practice with a chip on my schedule, I work out with a chip on my shoulder, because I know life isn't guaranteed."

Sixth-rounder Keaontay Ingram considers himself a bigger running back like Adrian Peterson. Trying to earn his way into the backfield mix, he’s used to fighting for a seat at the table having grown up with nine siblings.

"Having family there talking noise, it gets a little competitive, so I loved it," the former USC and Texas running back said.

Seventh-round linebacker Jesse Luketa knows a big family, he’s the youngest of 8. The Canadian, by way of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was raised by his siblings while his single mother worked to provide them with a better life.

"My mom is my rock, she's my why," said Luketa, who played at Penn State. "She's taught me how to sacrifice, how to work hard, how to go about your business the right way, and how to be a great person."

Then there’s Christian Matthew, the 7th-round corner from division 2 Valdosta State, who said he was about to hang up his cleats to become a store manager at a Walmart in Georgia, before his girlfriend and family convinced him to give football one last go.

"The opportunity to live out my dreams and play football, that window is much smaller than the window of being a manager at Walmart," Matthew said of the advice given to him. "No matter what happens moving forward, I can always tell my kids and the kids in the neighborhood that I got drafted. That phone call definitely changed my life, and it's a dream come true."

That's something that nobody can ever take away from these rookies.