Usually, we profile a small school sleeper who would fit the Philadelphia Eagles scheme. Over the past few months, we have found many a player from lesser known schools who have the talent to succeed in the NFL.
Don’t you worry one bit, we haven’t stopped that series, as it will continue deep into the offseason and beyond. But for this new series, we have decided to shift gears a bit, and profile lesser known gems from bigger colleges in the country. This week, we are kicking things off with a utility player, Tyler Scalzi.
If all the coaches in the NFL could get together and play Dr. Frankenstein to create the ideal player, they would probably add skills, strength, size, a mix of speed, toughness, a whole lot of intelligence and a yes-sir mentality. Enter, Tyler Scalzi, from Texas Tech University. This 6’4, 250 lbs, tight end looks like he was created in a laboratory, but has the leadership and personality of your ideal team captain.
Originally a walk on at Texas tech, the young prospect, had no idea where he would play, just that he would do whatever it took, to get on the field.
“When I got to Texas Tech, I went with the mind set that whatever it took to get the job done, that’s what I would do. I didn’t care what spot they wanted me at, Linebacker, Fullback, Line, kicker, I didn’t care, I was just excited and humbled to have the opportunity, to be in the position to play the game of football.”
The son of a NAVY man, Tyler, grew up with the discipline of a military man, and the can do attitude to boot.
“With my Father being the way he was while I was growing up, I learned quickly to trust and listen to those in charge. Be it my Father, my Coaches, my Trainers, or my Quarterback. I understood what was best for the team, was my cooperation, and yes-sir mentality to my coaches.
I grew up very disciplined, which at the time, I hated, I mean….what kid wants that kind of strict up bringing? It didn’t take long for me to realize what my father was teaching me, was the best for me, and now I am very disciplined in my life, especially with the game of Football. If it wasn’t for that type of upbringing, I wouldn’t be in this position , fighting for an NFL roster spot.”
Nicknamed “Tarzan” by two scouts I spoke too about Scalzi, he doesn’t just look the part..but plays like it too. Throughout the years at Tech, he was utilized in a variety of ways. Be it defensively at linebacker, offensively at Tight-End, Fullback, H-Back, or on special teams, where he played all cores. He has the skill set for all these roles, and more importantly, the guts to do it all. I asked him about his role for the Red-Raiders.
“I loved what I did, I mean, it didn’t matter to me that I wasn’t the star. I am a true believer, that everybody on the team is important, and while I am blocking on a kickoff return or punt, our guy takes it to the house, or makes a tackle, . I just did whatever I was needed to do, I loved it.
The success of the one was always looked at as the many on our team, and I believe football should always be like that. I take my role whatever it may be, in college, and coming into the NFL, and I am going to have a blast. I love contact, I love to knock my guy off the field, and you see it in my play, that I love what I do. “
He continued on.
“I like to think I do what it takes to be a great teammate and be a great locker room guy. It all starts off the field, with trust to be like a family. It is the only way we could be successful, and I am taking that with me into the NFL. I am going to be the best locker room guy, and be the best teammate to my team, it is a goal to always be a strong presence in there, and to be a leader for my coaches, and for my team.”
When you watch the game tape, you can see how he fits, in the NFL, and with the Eagle love for special teams and versatility, his fit in philly’ is an obvious one as well. When you talk to him, it is easy to see why he is such a well liked player amongst his team. With his capability to play everything from Linebacker, to long snapper, and all the way back to Tight-End, Scalzi could be a steal for the Birds’. A steal, that could one day, pay dividends in more than one way.
Oh..and we weren’t joking about the long snapping thing either..
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports