Tyler Larsen

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Offensive Lineman

Hometown: Draper, Utah

College: Utah State

Team: Carolina Panthers #69

Country: USA

Twitter: @tylerlarsen58

“They saw the fire in me.” – Tyler

Accomplishments: First-team All-MWC 2013. Rimington Trophy Finalist 2013. Signed by the Carolina Panthers 2016.

Only 9 in 10,000 high school senior players will make it to the NFL. If you happen to make it, that’s when the real battle begins… the battle to stay. Tyler finished his college career as a Rimington Trophy Finalist (The award for the best Center in the nation) and was expected to be drafted early in the 2014 NFL draft. He was never drafted. He signed as a free agent with the Dolphins, where he was released soon after. In 2015, he was signed again by the Redskins, where he was released in the final cuts, just before the start of the regular season. In 2016, Tyler was signed by the Carolina Panthers, survived final cuts, and made the roster. Shortly afterward he was released and signed to the practice squad, something teams do when they see great potential in young players and want to develop their talent. Do you see a pattern? His path isn’t perfect, but every year Tyler makes it farther. Despite being knocked down, every year he comes back better. That’s how champions are built…  UPDATE: Tyler finished the 2016-2017 season the starting Center for Carolina Panthers.

What obstacles did you overcome in your youth? I was always an undersized kid for my position. All through high school I was like 50 pounds lighter than all the other offensive lineman. I was really overlooked and didn’t really get any looks by colleges. I just kept battling, going to camps, and trying to get my name out there so coaches could see what I had. Fortunately, Utah State liked what they saw.

What keeps you hungry? My wife and my new baby girl! Also, football has been my life. I love what I do!

Best advice you’ve ever received? Keep going.

Your best advice for success? Take whatever happens by the horns. Keep grinding through it. You can’t get your head down. See everything that happens in your life as an opportunity. I’ve been released twice, so I use that for fuel, instead of getting down on myself. That fuel is what got me here now. After I was released by the Redskins, I started working out 2 times a day and I still provided for my family by working landscaping those same days.

Why do you think the Panthers signed you again, over other guys that didn’t make it? They saw the fire in me. They saw I’m here to better myself everyday. They saw I’m here to provide for my family.

What do you want people to remember about Tyler? I was never the guy who tried to get attention, but let my work speak for itself. That I was the guy who wanted to get something and did whatever he could to get it. He didn’t have to talk his way into something, he earned it.

How does it feel to be a new Dad? Laughs and says, “It’s unbelievable.”                      

Twitter: @tylerlarsen58