AU Commitment Nero Focused on Senior Season

Auburn commitment Tyler Nero talks about his team's disappointing loss and why he picked the Tigers. Video highlights of Nero and teammate Dalvin Craft are featured in this report.

Atmore, Ala.--Escambia County High School is home to two of top senior defensive tackle prospects in the state of Alabama, Tyler Nero and Dalvin Craft, but UMS-Wright found a way to attack the perimeter of the Blue Devils's defense to open up a 35-6 early in the second half and cruise to victory last Friday.

However, as Nero explains, the Blue Devils made halftime adjustments and were able to hold UMS-Wright scoreless for the final 20 minutes of the game.

"They were moving their tight ends and that's what was messing us up in the first half because we didn't see that in the film," Nero says. "We have to be prepared for stuff like that."

"It was the focus there from the start," Nero adds, "We weren't as focused as we should have been. We had a great week of practice, and I think we should have beaten them, but we weren't as focused we should have been in the first half. We went in there (at halftime), went over some things and got everybody focused. In the second half we dominated. We didn't give up and we kept fighting.

"In the second half we started shifting," he continues. "We were shifting into gaps and stunting. That sort of shut them down."

Nero started the game at right end with Craft, a Southern Miss commitment, playing left end. Nero made the switch to nose tackle early in the game and ended up with several tackles in the backfield.

"It was my athletic ability," he says. "I guess I'm blessed like that. It's just hard work, staying in the weight room and pushing yourself. If it weren't for God, I wouldn't have this ability. I just give all the thanks to Him for it.

"They had me at right end trying to switch it up a little bit," Nero explains. "I told them I wasn't getting good penetration over there so they moved me back to nose. I feel more comfortable playing the nose. I know the plays and stuff, but I feel like I need a little more practice playing end. I'm pretty good at nose and I'd rather stay at nose, but whatever helps the team."

Craft, above, and Nero, weren't enough to slow down UMS-Wright. Escambia County hopes to rebound this week against W.S. Neal.

Tyler's athletic ability runs in the family as his father, Norman Nero, played at running back and linebacker at Arkansas in the mid/late 90s. Tyler, currently at 6-1 1/2 and 273 pounds after shedding some weight in the heat of the summer, has been clocked under a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash.

The father and son debate over who is the better athlete, but they both self-proclaim the honors.

"He claims he is, but I can out-run him any day," Tyler Nero says. "He tried to race me one day and I proved him wrong. He'll try me every now and then, but he knows deep down that he's not better than me. He's dried out now."

Nero was over 290 pounds this summer and says the Auburn coaches could use him anywhere up front when he gets to campus next summer.

"Coach (Mike) Pelton told me me I fit in at end and nose," Nero says. "He'll be moving me around. I'm a pretty aggressive football player and that's what he likes about me. He says I'm very athletic. That will give me a chance to move around."

Nero committed to Auburn on Aug. 2nd after being recruited by running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Curtis Luper, who recruits the Mobile area for the Tigers. However, several Auburn coaches had a hand in getting Nero's commitment including former defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, who is now with the Tennessee Titans.

"They have a big thing about family," Nero says of his decision. "You can go anywhere else and they'll tell you about family, but when I go to Auburn I really feel the family and I feel at home there. I think they've got a wonderful coaching staff there.

"I like Coach Pelton. I think he's a good coach. Before he was there Coach Rocker was there and he coached my dad at Arkansas. When I went to an Arkansas football camp going into my ninth grade year, Coach Rocker was there. He knew me and worked with me a lot. Back then I might have been playing wide receiver. I was a little bitty kid.

"I talked to Pelton a lot, but it was Luper that recruited me," he adds. "Coach (Ted) Roof had a little part in it, too. They were recruiting me before Coach Pelton even came in.

"Coach Pelton is a good coach. I kind of look at him as a father figure because he believes in everything I believe in moral wise. He's a good coach and if you would want someone to watch over your son and protect your son, he's the one to do it. My momma likes that and my dad likes that. I think it was a pretty good decision that I made."

Nero had offers from all over the Southeast, but says it came down to an in-state battle for his signature.

"It was a hard decision," Nero says. "Coach (Nick) Saban told me I would have had a chance to start at nose. He told me that they needed a nose real bad and I would have started at nose, but I think I would have had a better chance somewhere else. I had to do a lot of thinking and it was a hard decision. I just felt at home at Auburn.

"There were a lot of things I liked about Alabama. They have family, too, but I just felt more at home at Auburn than I did at Alabama. I guess because I went to visit Auburn a million times. I went to Alabama a few times and I guess I didn't get a feel for what they were doing as much as I did at Auburn. I liked the coaches at Alabama too. I met a whole bunch of them. The defensive line coach, Coach (Chris) Rumph, I like the way he does his stuff too, but I just felt more at home at Auburn."

In the past Nero has been able to make it to several Auburn home games, but he probably won't make it to more than a couple this year because a weekend job.

"The game in particular that Coach Pelton told me he wants me to make sure I get to is the Florida game," Nero says. "I'm going to try to get to games before then because I know that's like five games down the line. One season I made it to about every game. There are going to be a whole bunch of big-time recruits and commits for the Florida game.

"I've been trying to get them to look at my end Dalvin Craft," Nero adds. "I've been talking to them about him. He's a pretty good football player. We grew up together and we've played football together ever since pee-wee. It's pretty much a competition between us and everybody wants us to get head-up on the boards, sleds, or whatever. We make each other better."

Tyler Nero highlights:
Dalvin Craft highlights:

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