MOBILE, Ala. — It’s no mystery that he’s a defender who makes offensive linemen tremble in their shoes when he puts his five fingers in the dirt.
T’Vondre Sweat is flat-out, massive, and he uses his size to dominate in the trenches. The former Texas’ defensive tackle is also a natural at mauling the opposition, clogging up holes, batting down passes, and wreaking havoc on ball-carriers.
He has the accolades to prove his worth too, including the Outland Trophy, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, and first-team, AP All-America honors. Sweat had a solid week at the Senior Bowl also, in which he displayed brute strength and versatility. The Texas native bullied offensive linemen in practice, and often required two blockers.
Most importantly, Sweat carried himself with confidence throughout the event. He was all business during interviews with several NFL teams, and didn’t even wear his diamond-studded medallion down in Mobile.
“It’s my goal to just go out there and compete everyday, and I take it day by day,” Sweat said. “I’m God-gifted, and do what I gotta do, and be the best that I can be.”
Although Sweat refused to get on the scale at the weigh-in, he left it to the imagination of how many pounds he has on his six-foot-four frame. The defender played at 360 pounds during his time in Austin. Regardless of his size, Sweat believes he was born to play football, and can play any position on the field. After all, he has played the sport since the age of four. Sweat also played quarterback and scored touchdowns as an adolescent.
His versatility continues to be a strength, and he’s never afraid to show it when his number is called on. Sweat even caught a touchdown pass in the Big 12 Championship Game. The 22-year old is being compared to former Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, who now plays for the Philadelphia Eagles. However, Sweat is more fluid with his movement, and flexible in the hips. He even molds his game after Ndamukong Suh.
Sweat is proud of the legacy he left behind with the Longhorns, including helping the team win the Big 12 Title, and a Playoff berth. Playing for Coach Steve Sarkisian was enjoyable to him, and he’s proud that the program molded him into a man.
“Just growing from a freshman to a senior, you’re 17-years old going into college, so the maturity is not there,” he said. “Once you start growing, then you get people in your life to help you keep growing, like the University of Texas to help you develop as a person, that’s what I consider maturity.”
Now that the Senior Bowl is over, Sweat can concentrate on the Scouting Combine. Sweat has generated some momentum with the way he performed last week.
The next two months will determine how far he can go on his path to the NFL Draft. Still, everyone knows he has a high ceiling at the next level. That’s why Sweat is ready for whatever challenges comes his way. Bottom line, he understands that this process can be grueling, but also rewarding.