The offensive line is rarely a position that gets to see a lot of limelight or fan fare. It’s is easy to be an under the radar player at that position. However, the center position is one of the most important on the field. Tyler Larsen has started 51 straight games at center for Utah State. He is coming off of an impressive showing at both the Senior Bowl and the Combine. Pro Player Insiders was able to catch up with Tyler and talk about football, marriage, draft day and dually trucks.
When we spoke to Larsen, he was preparing for his pro day and talked about how his training regimen has changed slightly. “You go in, do some running training for about an hour then go straight to lifting. I do a little more power pushes and position specific type workouts. I am focusing more on position work. I am working with Jeremy Newberry and right now it is all technique. He critiques me like I have never been critiqued before. I brought what he taught me out on the field to the Senior Bowl and achieved success.”
Larsen was generating a lot of buzz because of his matchups against Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Donald is considered to be one of the best defensive linemen in this class. Larsen took him on in numerous one on one reps during Senior Bowl practices and unlike many of the other offensive linemen, he didn’t get demolished.
One of the things that some scouts knocked about Larsen was his 31.5 inch arms. While that measurable is something that Larsen can’t fix, his ability to get a quick punch and use proper hand placement will help alleviate the so called shortcoming. Hand placement is something that former 49ers center Jeremy Newberry worked on with him. “That’s (hand placement) something that we worked on. It will create your leverage within the game. It’s critical to get positioning and use leverage. Shortening my steps, everything like that has helped but getting on the board and watching things from the previous season has helped me to improve my game. ”
This process has been a long one for Larsen. Fortunately he has an older brother that already went through this. His brother Cody Larsen is a defensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. He has given Larsen plenty of advice. “My brother tells me to relax. Tells me to keep a cool head and not to stress out. I can’t worry about what’s coming ahead. The personal workouts may be a little more taxing.”
There are numerous teams that have shown interest in Larsen. His Senior Bowl performance was a delight to many scouts. It showed that he could do well against elite competition. His 36 reps on the bench where the most by an offensive linemen at the combine. Larsen is also able to play guard so his versatility will be another good attribute for him.
More from Tyler on his life outside football and how he met his wife:
On how he met his wife
I met her up here at Utah State and she actually had foot surgery the summer I met her and she was hanging out with some of my friends on the offensive line and I met her there through my friend Bryce. He was taking care of her a little bit since her parents are out in California. The first thing she asked me was did I have an Xbox and did I have Call of Duty and I happened to have both. She said that we are going to be best friends from there and the rest was history. We just played Xbox and slowly grew that relationship and 2 years later we are married.
On how he proposed
I proposed to her after a game. We beat New Mexico State and that was just a fun way to do it cause she knows that I’m a laid back and kind of quiet guy. I just wanted to catch her off guard and surprise her.
Did you get down on one knee?
I did. I got down on one knee. I ran up in the stands and I had my family bring her some flowers and all that.
On his go to outfit for a formal occasion
[laughs] Man I don’t know I haven’t done that stuff in a long time. Yeah I mean I barely have one pair of jeans that fit me right now. So I don’t know it’s been a while I’m mostly in sweats and basketball shorts being an athlete up here.
On his favorite food and what he likes to eat and cook
I’m kinda in this little crock pot phase cooking chicken in that. So that’s making stuff at home and going out I would definitely say sushi.
What is your theme song?
I’m really an all kinds of music kind of guy.
On what his vehicle of choice will be
I’m actually really into the duallys. My wife won’t let me get one but I’m slowly trying to talk her into it but I love the dually trucks, preferably Ford. But we will see from there. I will go to an F-150.
In listening to Tyler talk, you can tell what a great guy he is and also how well grounded. We wish him and his wife good luck as she plays her last softball game in a few weeks and he prepares for life in the National Football League.