It is incongruous for a 6'7" 300-pound offensive tackle with 11 total and
five Pac-10 offers to have so little written about him, but such is the case
when you play for a small school much better known for its National Merit
Scholars than producing SuperPrep All-Americans. Tyler Mabry may be
obscure, hailing from tiny Francis Parker School in San Diego (Calif.) where a total of 458
students span grades 9 thru 12, but that did not stop him from picking up loads
of scholarship offers this spring and summer. His 11th grant was given by
Stanford on Wednesday, and Mabry reports that he committed 10 minutes after he
left Walt Harris' office.
Some trust the value of this Cardinal commitment based solely on his
competing scholarship offers, with half of the Pac-10 sold on his prospects.
However, that article of faith does not provide color as to the ability and
characteristics of this towering tackle. To help fill in the gaps, we have
spoken with Parker head coach John Morrison about his two-way lineman.
"Tyler is a great kid - really a dynamite kid," Morrison begins. "He's
a heck of a leader, even though he's only played three years of organized
football. When he came to us, he had never put pads on in his life."
"His learning curve is going to be tremendous," the coach continues.
"He's so smart and he has really committed himself. He has worked hard in
the weight room, which is where he has needed the most work. Tyler would
be the first one to tell you that he needs to get stronger. I would not be
surprised if he redshirts his first year at Stanford for that reason."
A high school offensive lineman tipping the scales at 299 pounds at the end
of his junior year of high school paints a picture of a sloppy young kid.
We have seen that too often, as young road graders race too fast to add weight
at any cost and with no conscience toward strength and fitness. Mabry's
coach says, however, that his tackle has a huge frame and has no tire around his
"Tyler has an NFL body," Morrison remarks. "You look at him and cannot
believe that he weighs 300 pounds. Most young kids that weight have a
belly, but Tyler doesn't have a hint of that at all. He could easily add
another 30 or 40 pounds and still look great."
The next question asked about a big man is how well he moves.
"He has great feet. He is about as close as you can find to the
prototypical left tackle," Morrison opines. "A lot of that has to do with
his development when he was younger. Tyler couldn't play football in Pop
Warner because he was too big, so he played soccer. You can see that with
his feet... He doesn't have any problem blocking in space. He does
explode and he has quick feet - that's definitely an asset for him."
"I'm going to move him from right tackle to left tackle for us this year
because I need him to protect our quarterback," he adds. "We run the ball
about 65% of the time and throw it 35% of the time, but I think Tyler can run
and pass block both well right now."
"Another thing is that we are such a small school - only about 450 kids -
that everybody really has to play both ways," Morrison notes. "Tyler has
started for us at defensive tackle, too. Coaches have almost all wanted to
watch his defensive film first because you can see his athleticism more there.
I think playing both ways has helped him physically and mentally, too. But
watch out when he works on just offensive line at Stanford, when he can use all
his practice time to focus on just one position."
For now, there is still plenty to be learned about the game and many gains to
be made in the weight room for this green giant of a tackle.
"The biggest area for him is strength," Morrison maintains. "He's not
where he needs to be, and he's the first one to tell you that. But Tyler
has come a long ways. He found a tremendous work ethic in the last 12 to
18 months. I'm telling you, he has a tremendous future and a great
learning curve ahead of him."
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