DITR: Tyler Durant

Tyler Durant is a 6’3 265-lb. Class of 2024 Defensive End out of Daphne High School in the growing town of Daphne, Alabama. The Daphne native holds successful measures both on and off the field, honorably mentioned as second team All-State, running a 4.9 and maintaining a 3.7 GPA. Durant’s size and agility as a DE allows for his unique, rapid footwork to pursue tracking down the Offensive Lineman in tunnel vision. Tyler Durant is entering his senior season with a total of 73 tackles and 52 solo tackles in the 22-23 season with hopes to achieve 100 this upcoming ’23 season. With many optimistic dreams and goals set for himself, Durant is presented as a very well composed, dedicated student-athlete for the Daphne Trojans serving as a leader on and off the field.

When did you begin playing football and why are you so passionate about playing this sport? 

I started playing when I was around 6 years old. Football has taught me so much about life, not only about competition but how life works. Football correlates it to not always getting your way, like getting a bad call on a play.

Which strengths do you obtain that make you a great stand-out athlete?

Personally, I think I can keep my composure well because I accept that things are not always going to go your way like I was saying earlier. Great players don’t only make good plays, but they know how to main composure when things go bad.

What do you believe to be one of your weaknesses and what are you doing to improve it?

My weaknesses sometimes are being too hard on my teammates. Perfection is everything for me, but no one is perfect you know so I catch myself being too hard on my teammates. I am just taking the experience of being a leader and being a part of a team to correct that.

What does wearing Jersey #7 mean to you?

My freshman year, James Quinnelly, our starting Defensive End who is currently in Memphis wore #7 his Junior and Senior year. At the last game of my sophomore year, he asked me to take and wear #7. I will also pass it on to someone who I think should represent the number.

Is there a coach or athlete that you look up to as a role model and why?

Definitely my head Coach, Coach King. He played for the same school, the same sport, and on the same team. I am standing in the same fieldhouse that he stood in, and he went on to do great things in the same position that I am in. Coach has really taught me everything I know about football.

What are some personal goals you have set for yourself as your senior year is approaching?

My first goal is making first team All-State, I made the second team, but I would prefer the first team selection. My next focus is to make 100 tackles assisted and solo combined, I was at about 73 this year so I want to add a few more to that. The last one is to receive a Division I offer to play football.

What does your diet and nutrition plan look like when you’re bulking up or getting in shape during training?

Personally, holding a high amount of weight is very hard for me due to having such a fast metabolism and burning off weight quickly. So, it is a carb and protein intake all year, it doesn’t change so I can hold weight since I burn it off so fast.

What are your dream schools and why are you the best choice for those teams?

My number 1 school is Samford in Birmingham. I went there for a camp, and I think it fits me will and I suit them well. I think I’m smart enough to fit in with their scheme and what they’re doing and to work well with the coaches.

What do you look for in a great coach?

Knowing a sport as a coach is very important. Like I mentioned earlier, great leaders hold their composure well and I think that is very important because everyone is looking at their head coach for answers and when the head coach is mad and frustrated, then everyone else gets mad and frustrated and things go downhill from there.

Describe some major highlights and football memories that you’ve experienced along the way of your football career since a kid.

The first great memory that comes to mind is playing youth football. Waking up early Saturday morning and going to play football, then we would have a cookout after in the backyard where everybody was playing ball while college football was on. Another highlight for me was starting in middle school as a seventh grader, originally, they didn’t allow seventh graders to play instead you would need another year of youth football. But I somehow impressed them enough to start my 7th grade year and that made me realize I had the potential to be something special.

 What is one of the greatest challenges you’ve faced and how did you overcome that adversity?  

I was wrestling last year in February during the sectionals tournament when I got landed on wrong and tore my PCL in my knee. It was during mid-February when spring football was right around the corner, and it was crushing knowing I did wrestle for fun, and football was what I was actually serious about. It was crushing but fortunately rehab went well, and I was able to play in the spring game coming back stronger.

 What do you, Tyler Durant, bring to the table for the Daphne Trojans Football Program?

I fill a position you know I play defensive line for the Trojans and the job of a Defensive Lineman doesn’t necessarily look hard, but it’s incredibly complicated and incredibly technical in what you have to do. I have spent years perfecting this position, of course I feel a very important role on the defensive line. I also bring leadership capabilities and a little bit of motivation by always going in the next day with a smile and being happy trying to lift other people up.

What have you learned about yourself while playing football?

I have learned about my mentality toward life. It is a grind every day, nothing is ever given to you. You have to work for everything that you have, and football has taught me that more than anything because you don’t get to play if you don’t work, and I think that applies to life. You aren’t going to get a good job or go to a good school if you have bad grades or don’t apply yourself.

What’s your technique for memorizing and teaching yourself new plays before an upcoming game?

Repetition. You have to do it as many times as possible, I mean even in school when I have a little bit of downtime, I will just write out plays or watch more film or do anything I can with that spare time.

What is the first thing you look for when the ball is being snapped?

I look at the Offensive Lineman in front of me. We were always taught that wherever the OL is going is where the ball is going. It is a pretty simple concept but that is where I look immediately ball is snapped.

“I would like to thank my family; I told them about my goals in Middle School and they’ve been doing the best they can to help me achieve that. Of course, I want to thank my coaches and most importantly I want to thank God. He blessed me with the ability to play football and I will thank him every single night before bed and morning when I wake up”.

DE, Tyler Durant