Chmura drawing praise for physical play

Freshman tight end says things are coming together in his first fall camp after his head was swimming early.

Tight end is one of the most challenging positions for a player to learn coming into college.

So it was little surprise that Michigan State freshman Dylan Chmura found his head swimming early in his first college fall camp.

"In the beginning, my head was swimming a little bit," he said. "It was tough to understand everything. Now, going back to all the stuff from last week and this week, it's kind of getting a little easier. A lot of schemes are the same as far as plays and I'm starting not to have to think as much when I'm out there."

Chmura does bring a high degree of versatility, as well as physicality to the tight end position for the Spartans.

"They are trying to move me around a little bit and playing me at a little bit of fullback, as well as the tight end spot on both sides," Chmura said. "They say that they like how physical I can be at the point of attack on the line, as well as kind of coming off the edge. I think that is what will help me is my strength and my physicality."

With an NFL pedigree – his father, Mark, was an all-pro tight with the Packers – Chmura said he came in understanding the importance of strength and being physical

"He said just keep training as hard as you can," Chmura said. "Strength is a big part of the college game, being able to handle big, 280-pound defensive ends or 260-pounds guys like Shilique Calhoun or Marcus Rush or Joel Health. It's a challenge, but I would like to say that the strength that I have is helping me out."

He said the first day against the defensive ends at Michigan State was a little shaky, but he is getting better with each rep.

"I don't really think of it as I'm going against guys that I watched on TV last year," Chmura said. "Now, it's I'm going against these guys who are my teammates and they're trying to make me better and I'm trying to make them better."

Senior quarterback Andrew Maxwell said that Chmura is having a good camp, but stressed the difficulty of the position he is learning.

"Obviously, he is young and learning a lot that is thrown at him," Maxwell said. "I think tight end, especially when you're a freshman, is one of the hardest positions to learn. You're learning the pass game, which has got a lot of stuff. You're also learning the run game because you're used in that a lot in our offense. In the run game, especially with the different fronts and the different looks, as a freshman that can be tough to handle.

"I think he has done a good job. He is a big kid. He is a physical kid and he runs well and he catches it well. I'm excited to see how he progresses and comes on for us."

One of his fellow tight ends, junior Andrew Gleichert, said that Chmura is doing well so far in his first fall camp.

"Dylan looks really good," Gleichert said. "He is strong, he's a strong kid. He is gonna be a good player when he gets older. He has just gotta know the plays."

Chmura said that while camp has it's challenges, working with players like Gleichert is helping him along.

"It's a struggle, but I'm having a blast," Chmura said. "I've been making improvements everyday. I'm working with a great group of guys that are really picking me up and telling me not to get discouraged and just keep pushing forward because the time will come."

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