Josh Hull knows his work is not done.
Though the St. Louis Rams announced Monday they had signed Hull, along with seven other 2010 draft picks, the former Penn State linebacker knows a spot on the roster is no guarantee.
"There is still a long road ahead of me," Hull said Tuesday. "I'm just going to do everything in my power to achieve my major goal of the season, that's to make the 53-man roster and contribute right away for the Rams this year."
A seventh-round (254th overall) selection in April's NFL Draft, Hull said he could not disclose details of his contract. Hull, listed at 6-foot-3, 239 pounds, did say there wasn't much negotiation and the Rams based his contract on the slot he was picked.
At one point on draft day, Hull wasn't sure he was going to be picked at all. He said seven or eight times, teams called him to tell him they were interested and going to try and select him with their next pick. When other names kept popping up on the screen, Hull became frustrated.
"I really didn't think it was going to happen," he said. "It came down toward the end and I was kind of discouraged."
Seven rounds went by and it came down to the second-to-last pick of the draft before Hull's name was called. At the time of the pick, Hull said he was on the verge of signing a free agent contract with the New York Jets.
"It was mayhem," Hull recalled of the moment he was picked. "Parents were running around. We were yelling and screaming."
Hull led the Nittany Lions with 116 tackles his senior year, good enough for fifth in the Big Ten. The Penns Valley High School graduate and Penn State walk-on finished his career as just the 20th Lion in program history to surpass 100 tackles in a season.
"Penn State did a great job preparing me for the NFL and I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to get drafted," he said. "And now I'll have the opportunity to contribute to the Rams."
After participating in Rams' rookie camp and organized team activities (OTAs), Hull said he is comfortable with the playbook, something he said is a lot of material to grasp.
"Now it's just a matter of me really settling in, knowing my responsibility on the defense and then just relying on my football abilities and to react," he said. "Anytime I can just step on the field and just play on pure reaction, that's when I play at my highest level."
Currently, Hull is taking part in the NFL's annual rookie symposium in Carlsbad, California, which concludes today. He will then go home to Millheim for a couple of days and relax before he goes back to working out in preparation for July 28, when Rams rookies report to training camp at their practice facility in Earth City, Missouri.
"The kid has earned the right to be there," Jeff Hull, Josh's father, said. "It's no walk-on deal now. It's the real deal."