WASHINGTON — Jeremiah Attaochu spent much of his pre-NFL life in the nation’s capital.
The 23-year-old linebacker, soon to enter his third NFL season with the San Diego Chargers, went to Archbishop Carroll high school in Northeast D.C., and he still refers to the District as “back home.”
His favorite players growing up were the same as many kids growing up in the DMV: Sean Taylor, Clinton Portis, Santana Moss.
But he hasn’t played football in D.C. in years. After high school, he played at Georgia Tech. Then he was drafted by the Chargers, and that’s where his D.C. affiliation would appear to be over.
Except it didn’t end there.
Attaochu revealed to Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday afternoon that no matter what he accomplishes or where he goes, the Redskins are always lingering.
“The people around me, like my family, my friends back home, they follow the Redskins closely,” Attaochu says. “And they’ll always bring it up in conversation with me, and I’m like, ‘You know I play in the NFL too, right?’ So they’ll talk about the Redskins more than they’ll talk about the Chargers, just because they’re from the area. So I definitely have a following of the Redskins through my family and friends.”
Complicating his feelings toward the Redskins are his relationships with members of the Washington franchise.
Joe Barry, the Redskins’ defensive coordinator, was the first position coach Attaochu had in the NFL. Barry served as the linebackers coach with the Chargers for the four previous seasons before joining the Redskins a year ago, and the third-year linebacker has a soft spot in his heart for Barry.
“Coach Barry’s my guy,” Attaochu said. “We go back to Georgia Tech, when he came to work me out pre-draft. Just a great coach, the guys love playing for him, I’m sure. He definitely developed me as a player in my rookie year and instilled the confidence in me to be able to compete at a high level in the pros. I’m sure that’s how, when the young guys come into the Redskins organization, that’s how he’s gonna make them feel and allow them to jump-start their career like he allowed me to do mine.”
Then there is Kendall Reyes, who played with the Chargers for four seasons before coming to Washington this summer. Reyes, a defensive tackle, wasn’t directly coached by Barry, but the two surely interacted frequently, leading to a reunion on the Redskins. Reyes and Attaochu, however, spent a great deal of time together, and the latter thinks the former will thrive in burgundy and gold.
“Kendall is an amazing player, and it was great to have him as a teammate, as well, so the Redskins definitely got a steal as far as a guy who’s gonna come in and bring that great culture into the locker room and also play hard on the field and make plays,” Attaochu told Grant and Danny. “Kendall’s gonna be great for the Skins this year.”
The full interview is available below.