At Richard Sherman's celebrity softball game this past Sunday, Thomas Rawls said he "most definitely" expects to be ready for the first week of training camp, and judging by the way he moved and the energy he exuded in the mic'd up segment embedded above, the second-year running back appears on track to at least be ready to go by the regular season, something head coach Pete Carroll said was "real possible" earlier this offseason.
Before his rookie year ended with a broken ankle last December, Rawls had gone from an undrafted rookie free agent that Seattle signed out of Central Michigan to one of the NFL's leading rushers as he filled in for injured starter Marshawn Lynch. He finished his first year with 830 yards, averaging a League-best 5.6 yards per carry while topping 100 yards four times, including a 209-yard effort against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 11, the most-ever by a Seahawks rookie.
Alongside retired Seahawks wideout Ricardo Lockette, Rawls served as one of the coaches in Sunday's softball game, and prior to setting his team's lineup that day he took time to reflect on how his life has changed since not hearing his name called in the 2015 draft.
"A year ago nobody knew me, I used to go up to the store and just shop peacefully," Rawls said with a laugh. "But no, I enjoy it. I'm real grateful and I'm so excited to be here and have the opportunity to play for a great organization and a great coach with great teammates and a lot of those guys are leaders in that locker room. I'm learning so much from them, and Richard Sherman is one of them."
With Lynch, the Seahawks' longtime leader in the running back room, hanging up his cleats this offseason, Rawls said his relationship with Sherman has grown stronger. The Seahawks Pro Bowl cornerback has offered Rawls advice on finances, business decisions, and football as he readies for his sophomore campaign.
"My relationship with [Sherman] has been short but very impactful, especially with Marshawn leaving," Rawls said. "Sherman and I spent a lot of time this offseason together, putting a few things together and making sure that I'm all right as long as I'm up here. A real inspirational guy."
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman held his fourth annual celebrity softball game at Seattle's Safeco Field on Sunday, July 10 to benefit his Blanket Coverage Foundation, which provides school supplies and clothing to students in low-income communities.