Campbell: Hutchinson 'all business,' quietly improving throughout offseason

The changes in his life are still sinking in, some faster than others, for highly heralded Detroit Lions rookie defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.

His job title – professional football player – is the fulfillment of a dream but not one he takes lightly.

"It's awesome," Hutchinson said Thursday at the end of Lions minicamp. "It's definitely one a lot of kids growing up want to do it and not many get to do it.

"This opportunity is not one I'm going to take for granted."

There is still a "pinch me" quality to the journey that took Hutchinson from Divine Child High School and the University of Michigan to a rookie with his hometown team.

The Lions drafted Hutchinson second overall with the expectation that he will play a prominent role on their defense.

"I don't know if it has sunk it," Hutchinson said. "I'm here. I'm a Detroit Lion. It's the weirdest thing, thinking back to when I was growing up and now I'm here.

"It's all very weird. I'm just rolling with the punches. You go from the Combine to the draft to this, to that.

"As a rookie, we're out here going through the next thing. It's a great thing, though. It's super crazy."

As he enjoys the trajectory his life has taken, Hutchinson has gotten his work in. From the start of rookie camp through the full minicamp – and with a couple more weeks ahead for the rookies – Hutchinson has impressed head coach Dan Campbell.

"He's been all business," Campbell said. "What's great about him is, he's quietly getting better, right in front of us. He doesn't' say anything. He listens. He's like a sponge in there. He absorbs the information.

"He watches how things are done and how the coaches want them done. He has a motor and he goes. He learns and gets better every day. You just see it. I love that about him.

"Every day, man, there's growth, -- right in front of us."

Hutchinson has had to make predictable adjustments in moving from the college game to the NFL. Hutchinson has followed the lead of the veterans, observing their work habits and how they practice.

Veteran outside linebacker Charles Harris has been a model for Hutchinson for his high energy in everything he does.

"He works so hard," Hutchinson said. "I see him getting the extra work. Whenever he does something he pushes me to do more.

"I look up to him. I admire his work ethic for sure."

View photos from Day 3 of Detroit Lions minicamp on Thursday, June 9, 2022 in Allen Park, Mich.

Hutchinson has discovered one significant difference between college and the NFL.

"It's just different," he said "It's a different tempo. A different game, to be honest, coming from college. It's one I'm getting used to.

"Everything is a split second faster."

Hutchinson is confident he'll adjust to whatever changes the NFL throws at him.

"I know my expectations," he said. "I pride myself on not making the same mistake twice. I'm going to continue and grow every single year I'm out here. I can really feel it, too.

"I'm screwing up. That's OK. That's kind of what it takes to take that next step. I'm just trying to soak in as much info as I can before the season starts.

"Then we can play without thinking. That's the goal."

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