- Craig Haubert, ESPN Staff Writer
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Tyler Stockton, 6-foot-1, 290 pounds
ESPN 150 Watch List defensive tackle
The Hun School of Princeton (N.J.)
If you are on the links in New Jersey and see a large young man on the fairways with a vicious drive reminiscent of John Daly getting home on a long par 5 in two at Baltusrol, chances are it is Tyler Stockton. One of the top defensive tackle prospects in the 2009 class doubles as a member of the golf team at The Hun School of Princeton. While many football prospects spend their offseasons playing basketball, baseball or running track, the 6-foot-1, 290-pound Stockton believes golf has helped his football game.
"Golf helps me mentally. If I make a bad shot on the on the golf course, I need to forget it and move on to the next shot. That thought process has helped me in football because if I make a bad play on the football field, I need to forget it and move on to the next play."
This is no cigar-smoking, cart-riding experience; the high school junior carries his clubs and walks the course, so the big man gets a good amount of cardio in. He admits walking the hills helps build up some leg strength.
Even with his golf prowess, Stockton's main draw is his ability on the football field. While lacking ideal height, he is a quick, violent, and sound with the ability to make an opposing lineman's day very difficult. He already has racked up multiple offers, and while his ability speaks for itself, the ESPN 150 Watch List prospect has been on coaches' radars for several years now. As a freshman on the varsity at The Hun School, he was teammates with Myron Rolle, the nation's No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2006. Rolle, now with Florida State, had a positive influence on the young player in several ways.
"Playing with him was an honor of course. I learned a lot from him, he showed me how to work hard, how recruiting works and also how to work hard in the classroom."
The attention Rolle received helped Stockton catch coaches' eyes earlier than most recruits his age.
"I was able to meet a bunch of coaches over time that knew me as sophomore already because of Myron and my name got out there even though I was young."
He feels like he is ready to handle the recruiting process with one key piece of advice that sticks with him, one that has been echoed by coaches, Rolle and or Class of 2007 defensive tackle prospect Marvin Austin, who he met at a combine -- "stay humble."
While his recruitment heats up and he gets praised for football, golf and his classroom work, Stockton aims to do just that.
Stockton's Scouts Inc. Evaluation
The Hun School has a dangerous defensive line in 2008 and a big reason is because of Stockton. He lacks ideal height, but this kid is a menace in the trenches especially lined up over the center.
He possesses one of the most explosive get-offs in this class. He is extremely quick off the ball and consistent. Opponents lined up against him better be prepared to get hit and jarred backwards. In addition to being quick, he will also stay low, quickly shoot his hands and on contact generate power from his lower body. He will physically hit a blocker so hard and so quickly he will snap his head back and put him on his heels. He does a great job of quickly punching and pressing the blocker off him so he can separate. Even when he does not knock a blocker back he does a good job of staying square and holding his ground. He has a good motor and hustles around. He is a solid tackler. He is a disruptive pass rusher. Has the quickness to get off the ball and beat his man. He is so quick and good with his hands that he will use them to help defeat a blocker. Can club and throw a quick swim. Displays the ability to punch and get skinny and slip past a blocker. He has adequate speed and short-area change-of-direction skills, but will get in on plays on the perimeter on effort.
Stockton is a fun player to watch as he is explosive and disruptive. He plays like a tornado of terror, and while he may lack certain ideal assets of a defensive tackle, he is a good player who should cause some problems at the college level.