Chargers' Britt high on commitment

An injured Wesley Britt pumps up the crowd

The most telling story of Wesley Britt's career at Alabama was when he was being carted off the field after breaking his tibia and fibula against rival Tennessee. Instead of wallowing in the misery of the moment, Britt raised his arm in defiance of the injury to pump up his teammates and the crowd. Now, he brings that same fire and intensity to the San Diego Chargers.

It was the first quarter of that October 2003 game that pitted SEC rivals Alabama and Tennessee against each other for the umpteenth time when Wesley Britt went down to the horror of his teammates.

Britt was making a block he had done millions of times in the past but the difference was a nasty compound fracture that ultimately ended his season.

On the sidelines, as he was being carted off the field, Britt raised a fist to the air, and more precisely the 83,018 fans in attendance, to reinvigorate Bryant-Denny Stadium in a time of mourning when their leader went down. He also yelled at his teammates to keep the spirit alive, "Roll Tide!"

"I accepted the pain," Britt recalled. "I split both my tibia and fibula in half, so it was a lot of pain. But I have a strong faith in God. I started praying at the moment and Jesus just took my pain away for a moment and I just wanted to do something.

"Tennessee-Alabama is one of the most storied rivalries in college football, and I wanted to do anything for my teammates to spur them on to win the game, keep the fans in the game and not worry about me, but worry about the team."

The Tide suffered a 51-43 five-overtime loss but could have been crippled, much as Britt was for the rest of that year, in the early going of the contest.

A hairline fracture to his lower fibula, different than the injury he sustained in 2003, put the lineman out of the Senior Bowl as well.

And concerns began to mount for the leader of the Tide offensive line.

He ended up being chosen in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft and he isn't too happy about it.

"I definitely think I'm the big steal of the draft," said Britt. "Going into my junior year people were talking about me maybe being a top ten, top fifteen pick. Then I broke my leg, and people started talking about me being the most durable football player, period, especially on the line, in the SEC, and then after some freak accidents with ligaments and things, there are medical concerns.

"I put those to rest in my senior season, got some All-American votes, All-SEC, the coaches voted the best blocker in the SEC – the best offensive lineman in the SEC is the Jacobs Blocking award – and I was very honored to receive that as much as any other things.

"I'm ready to put to rest all the medical concerns and show teams they were mistaken to pass me up, and show the Chargers and the San Diego fans how proud I am to be a Charger."

With a fist raised in the air, Britt is motivating himself for the road ahead. He comes into San Diego with aspirations of becoming a starter.

There would be no more fitting punctuation mark than proving five rounds of detractors wrong.

Britt gave all he had to wear the Crimson. "Roll Tide" became more than just words placed together. Those words were the epitome of life as a member of the Alabama program.

Now he is a "Super Charger" and donning the pads, jersey and helmet as a member of the blue and gold is what he lives and breathes.

"I always put a lot of expectations on myself to succeed and be a great football player, but I just want to do everything I can to help the Chargers win the Super Bowl, whatever that role might be."

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