Aug 30, 2012

Brotherly Battle | UT Statesman


Scoreboard will not show the victor of this brotherly battle

Larsens have a sibling rivalry

Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 14:08

sports editor
AGGIE CENTER TYLER LARSEN, seen here preparing to
hike the ball, said he is “way excited” to face off against his
older brother Cody Larsen in the season-opener against Southern
Utah University on Thursday. CURTIS RIPPLINGER photo
    Meet Cody Larsen.
    The 6-foot-4, 300-pounder from Southern Utah University recorded six sacks last season from the defensive tackle position.
    Meet Tyler Larsen.
    The 6-foot-4, 312-pound Sandy, Utah, native is the center on Utah State’s football team and has started since he was a freshman on the Aggie offensive line.
    These two men not only share a last name and the number 58 on their uniforms, they share bloodlines.
    Once teammates at Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah, the Larsen brothers have waited for the opportunity to line up against each other since news broke of the SUU at Utah State game scheduled for 6 p.m. on Aug. 30 at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium.
    “I’m way excited,” Tyler Larsen said. “At the same time, a little nervous seeing how it’s going to be, because I’m going to be going against my brotherhead-to-head.”
    Cody Larsen shares his younger brother’s attitude.
    “It’s been a while,” he said. “I’ve never been able to play against him. It’s a big game for me and for him, so I’m real excited.”
    While the final score is more important to both brothers, at the end of the day the Larsen family will be talking about who won the individual battle in the trenches.
    “Who’s got the edge? Man, I couldn’t say. I really couldn’t,” said LeRoy Larsen, Cody and Tyler’s father. “I don’t know. They’re both good at their positions.”
    According to their bios in their respective media guides, Tyler Larsen outweighs Cody Larsen by 12-pounds. Tyler Larsen claims to have superior leg strength and out-squats his older brother “all the time,” but admits he can’t keep up when the two bench press together.
    “He just takes off and I can’t even catch him,” Tyler Larsen said. “He’s definitely got a stronger upper body, I’ve got a stronger lower body. Offensive line needs legs more than arms and defensive line needs arms more than legs.”
    Tyler Larsen said he can’t help but look for his brother when he studies film with the rest of the Aggie football team.
    “He has a funky way of going about things,” Tyler Larsen said. “It’s just something I’ve never seen before. He uses his strength, but he also uses his quick agility and he gets right by people which is why he’s getting so many sacks and he’s doing so well. He’s definitely got a lot of technique.”
    The Larsen home in Sandy, Utah has been filled with banter egged on by the youngest Larsen brothers -- Zach Larsen, who is a senior lineman at Jordan High School, and Collin Larsen, the youngest brother at 13-years-old.
    “The family always wants us to get into it, start talking trash,” Cody Larsen said. “It’s mostly me, I’d have to say. Tyler keeps his mouth shut and I do most of the talking.”
    Tyler Larsen agreed.
    “We can’t even go through a dinner with the family without him saying something,” Tyler Larsen said.
    LeRoy Larsen said the banter started about a year ago when the family first learned SUU would travel to Logan for the season-opener.
    “Most of it is who’s stronger and who’s faster,” he said. “We talked about who’s going to start laughing when they’re going against each other. They wrestle and stuff like that, but whoever starts laughing first will be the one that loses.”
    Barbara Larsen, matriarch of the Larsen home, said she enjoys listening to her boys chatter over dinner.
    “They always said ‘There’s no way you could get past me,’” Barbara said. “They’ve always talked back and forth, who’s the strongest and toughest. When they mess around in the back yard, Tyler ends up laughing because Tyler is more of fun-loving guy, and Cody is dead serious. When they’re just messing around here, Tyler can’t even do a thing because he just starts laughing.”
    The Larsen brothers have helped each other become better football players since they were both young, even beyond the backyard.
    “We played with each other quite a bit his freshman year,” Cody Larsen said. “He came up and played varsity as a freshman, so he started a few games that year. The first day he walked out on the practice field he was probably a little smaller back then, but I took it to him on the first play. After that he held his own.”
    Tyler Larsen said he learned to “never back down” from his brother.
    “I’ve basically learned everything like work ethic from him,” Tyler Larsen said. “I’ve just learned a lot about how to work. He’s a big example to me about how to play football. I’ve been watching him my whole entire life. How I got here is by watching him, seeing how he plays.”
Barbara Larsen said she while she doesn’t know what color shirt she’ll wear to the game in Logan, she has always hoped to be able to see her two oldest sons play each other at the collegiate level.
    “I couldn’t be prouder of both of them,” she said. “They are such hard workers. They give 110 percent in anything that they do and they love the game of football. It’s kind of a reward for both of them to be able to play against each other.”
    
– tavin.stucki@aggiemail.usu.edu

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