19 in 19: TE Tyler Kroft

Downingtown East (Exton, Pa.) tight end Tyler Kroft is the next stop in our "19 in 19" series. The 6-foot-6, 220-pounder committed to Rutgers nearly a year ago and spoke with ScarletReport.com about getting in the best shape of his life for when he enrolls.

With lacrosse season in full-swing, Tyler Kroft's final months in high school are some of the most hectic of his life. But it's all worth it.

Because between lacrosse and football workouts, the incoming Rutgers tight end will be in great shape come June when he enrolls.

"I'm very excited for both [the end of high school and start of college]," Kroft said. "I can't wait to get up to Rutgers and start the next chapter in my life."

When Kroft committed to Rutgers, he weighed in around 210 pounds. The 6-foot-6 tight end is up to 220 pounds now, he said, but his biggest increase is in his strength.

"I physically am a lot stronger than I was then," Kroft said. "[Rutgers] want me around 225 when I get there, and I am around 220 now and gaining. I've been getting in the weight room and put on weight as best I can."

Kroft's lacrosse season came to an end last week when his team lost in the first round of the playoffs. Prior to the loss, however, Downingtown east surprised a lot of people with a 13-5 overall record.

With lacrosse finished, finishing up school is the last step before Kroft enrolls at Rutgers for the second summer session in June. He is set academically, he said, and finished with his placement tests, so he can begin receiving credits upon arrival.

The week before Kroft enrolls, he is set to play in the Big 33 All-Star Game. The game pits the best of Ohio and Pennsylvania against each other.

"I've been told the work we do in the community through the Big 33 organization is a life-changing experience," Kroft said. "I am very excited to contribute and play with the best of Pennsylvania against the best of Ohio."

This year, Kroft is the lone Rutgers representative in the game, but he is excited for Rutgers' growing connection throughout the state.

Two of Rutgers' four verbal commitments for next year, Desmon Peoples and Blake Rankin, are Pennsylvania natives.

"I know there is quality football in Pennsylvania and it's good to keep getting some top players from here [to come to Rutgers]," Kroft said.

For Kroft, top players in Pennsylvania include teammate Drew Harris.

The big-time running back holds more than 20 verbal scholarship offers and Kroft is doing is best to keep Rutgers in the picture.

"[I'm telling him] that he should keep Rutgers in his top, and trying to recruit him the best I can," Kroft said.

Kroft is also excited to rejoin former teammate Taj Alexander at Rutgers.

"Taj and I have always been very good friends," Kroft said. "I can't wait to get back out on the field with him. I'm glad that I get to go somewhere where one of my friends is [already around]."

Kroft has not discussed playing any position other than tight end with the coaching staff, he said. he plans to immediately compete for playing time, but would be "fine with" red-shirting if the coaches asked him to do so.

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