Every NFL defense loves having a massive, mauling anchor at the heart of their defensive line. Florida’s Tyrone Truesdell possesses that sort of skill set, and he can bring that kind of presence to any team in the league as he prepares to make the jump to the next level. Truesdell recently spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his successful showing at The College Gridiron Showcase, which NFL teams he met with at the event, his decision to transfer from Auburn to Florida ahead of the 2021 college football campaign, how he overcame adversity as a young child, and so much more as we race toward the 2022 NFL Draft. JM: Tell me a little about your invite to the College Gridiron Showcase. What was your initial reaction like? TT: I was already in the middle of training for the draft when I found out about the invite. It was great news. I felt like I was blessed to receive another opportunity to put the pads back on (laughs). I went out there and put some good things on tape for the NFL scouts in attendance. JM: The event took place from Jan. 8-12. It obviously represented a big opportunity for you. What do you think you proved to the scouts? TT: I definitely showcased what I’m capable of as a defensive lineman. I showed them that I can stop the run. I also flashed an improving skill set as a pass rusher that’s only going to get better as my offseason training program continues to take shape. The scouts in attendance received a good feel for what I can bring to the table. JM: Which teams did you meet with at the College Gridiron Showcase? It’s always interesting to know which scouts pulled you aside for a meeting or conversation. TT: I actually met with a few teams. I had meetings with the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, and Seattle Seahawks. I had some great conversations and meetings with scouts from those teams in particular. JM: That’s great to hear. I want to reflect on your season. You arrived at Florida via Auburn as a graduate transfer. You got to Florida awfully close to the start of their season. Did you have any difficulties acclimating to a new program? TT: I had to really focus on learning the plays and the terminology used by their defensive coordinator. That was probably the biggest challenge I encountered when I first arrived in Florida. Everything else came naturally to me. It’s still football at the end of the day. I had to learn the coaching philosophies and whatnot. I had to earn the trust of the coaching staff to a point where they felt good about putting me on the field throughout the early part of the season. I quickly developed a good relationship with defensive line coach David Turner. That helped me acclimate rather quickly. I caught on with coach Turner. I just had to learn the plays. Once that happened, it was smooth sailing. JM: Now that you’ve had some time to think about it, how do you reflect on the decision to leave Auburn in favor of Florida? TT: I don’t have any regrets. I honestly wouldn’t change the decision if I could. I really enjoyed my lone season at Florida. It gave me a different experience. It was extremely valuable from a preparation perspective. It gave me an opportunity to receive some different coaching and improve my knowledge of the game. You can never receive too much coaching. Florida was a brand new experience. I learned a lesson about how important football I.Q. is at the next level. I think I took a step forward and proved to people that I understand football and schemes at a high level. I think the scouts will realize that throughout this process. JM: It’s so important. You overcame a ton of adversity growing up. Your mother battled some personal issues and you tragically lost your father at a young age. How did you navigate through some of those challenges? TT: I’ve never been a person that allowed adversity to define me. It’s just something about me. I’m that guy that doesn’t allow personal circumstances or tragedy to impact my growth as a person or player. I don’t let it impact my goals. I just kept moving forward. JM: How did it impact your work ethic? TT: It drove me to go somewhere beyond what was viewed as realistic or attainable in the eyes of others. I want to go even further than where I want to be. I want to achieve something notable, something that makes my family proud. I’m also trying to show people where I’m from that there is a way out. Anybody can be successful. You just have to apply yourself. You have to put the work in. JM: I love that. You’re living proof. How would you describe your skill set as a defensive lineman? TT: I’ve always described myself as an extremely powerful defensive lineman with the skill set to stop the run. I’m a big body that can help anchor your defensive line. I’m very strong and I possess the ideal lower body strength. I’m an excellent run stopper and I’m working hard to improve as a pass rusher. That’s the type of guy I am. JM: Speaking of, are there any defensive linemen you enjoy watching and studying? Do you model your game after anybody in particular? TT: I’ve spent a lot of time watching Vita Vea’s game recently. I love watching him play the game. I can learn a lot from him. I’ve been studying his game ever since I first arrived in college at Auburn. He was drafted fairly high for a great reason. He and I have similar body types and qualities. I try to approach the game in a very similar manner. I try to pay close attention to him. He does some special things on Sundays. I’m trying to do the same. JM: Vita Vea is a terrific player to learn from while studying his habits. I’ve really appreciated your time today, Tyrone. In closing, what do your goals look like as we quickly approach the 2022 NFL Draft? TT: I’m striving toward making the most out of these next few months. I’m trying to receive the best training possible. I’m putting my best foot forward right now. The goal is to dominate on my pro day, which is currently scheduled to take place around the end of March. The pro day is another great opportunity for me to showcase my talents to all of the NFL scouts that will be in attendance. I can’t wait to show everybody what I‘ve been working on. I’ve come a long way in a short amount of time since the end of the season. Even from the College Gridiron Showcase to my pro day, I know I’ll make even more progress. It’s an exciting time for me.
- Aug 12, 2022
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