DAVIE (CBSMiami)- The Miami Dolphins newest rookie, Christian Wilkins, received a warm welcome Friday as he addressed the media at Dolphins training camp in Davie  just hours after being selected as the team’s top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The 315-pound defensive tackle out of Clemson was all smiles after draft night and he says he’s still on cloud nine after getting that phone call from the Dolphins.

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“This is what I’ve been dreaming about my whole life and it’s what I’ve been working toward. I’m excited, honored and blessed to be here,” Wilkins told reporters.

Wilkins’ grand entrance into the NFL was trending after he nearly took out Commissioner Roger Goodell, with an attempted chest bump.

Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins moves into NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the Miami Dolphins selected Wilkins in the first round at the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

“I was like look at that vert. I had to show off my athleticism just a little bit. I hope Dolphins fans and everyone seen a little bit of my athleticism. That was cool,” said Wilkins. “He’s kind of just like cowering and seeing me like, late reaction. It was pretty funny. Something I’ll remember forever and he won’t forget it either.”

Wilkins was fired up behind the scenes Thursday night in Nashville, but it didn’t come easy for him. It took years of hard work.


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He took a big gamble when he decided to play his senior season at Clemson instead of entering the draft in 2018. The Springfield, MA native wanted to make sure he was ready for life in the NFL and his gamble paid off.

“This is a mans game and a mans league and I wanted to be as polished as possible and be able to come in day one and help a team. I feel like just this last year I got so much better from just a technical standpoint, a knowledge standpoint,” said Wilkins.

The 13th pick was able to live out his childhood dream in college where he played multiple positions and scored a few touchdowns at running back.

“I remember just watching you know Reggie White highlights and Emmitt Smith highlights and stuff like that. I know Emmitt Smith, I wanted to be a running back and do all that too,” said Wilkins.

He’ll have to settle for chasing around running backs now, but what he won’t settle on is his potential. With Dwyane Wade’s departure from the Miami sports landscape, Wilkins believes he could be the next star this town needs.

“You know I was kind of joking about that, but why not ya know. Something that we talked a lot about at Clemson that I realized to be true: you do the little things, the common things in an uncommon way, you command the attention of the world so,” said Wilkins.

Wilkins is set to be a key member of the Dolphins 2019 season which is expected to be a rebuilding year for the franchise.

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“I’m ready to work. I’m ready to get started,” he said.