Share This Page
NFL

Former Steel Valley, Pitt star Ezell eyes WWE if NFL doesn't work out

| Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 12:16 a.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt defensive lineman Tyrone Ezell persues Old Dominion receiver Antonio Vaughan on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, at Heinz Field.

Ty Ezell's first love always has been wrestling.

No, not the kind that could eventually land him in the Olympics.

The mammoth former Pitt defensive tackle — a Steel Valley graduate — wants to be just like WWE's The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Goldberg, and he's serious.

Ezell did walk around Ford Field after Pitt won the Little Caesars Bowl in December with a replica WWE championship belt over his head.

“I am really thinking about getting into it,” Ezell said.

Well, only if this professional football thing doesn't work out.

Ezell participated at Pitt's pro day Monday with the hopes that his speed, size and agility can attract the interest of a team in May's NFL Draft.

Ezell wasn't invited to last week's NFL Combine, making Monday's pro day the only time NFL scouts will be able to see him up close.

“Without being invited to the combine, today was very important,” Ezell said. “If you had the combine, today would've been another day to make up with what they didn't feel went well. I just had this one chance and had to take it serious and give it everything I got because you don't get opportunities like this.”

He measured in at 6-foot-3, 310 pounds and benched 225 pounds 22 times, but likely will have to rely on the last two years being Pitt's starting defensive tackle on getting an opportunity with an NFL team.

Ezell, a captain, played in all 13 games as a senior and started 12 at nose tackle. He had 34 tackles and two sacks. In the bowl game, Ezell helped clinch the victory with a sack in the waning moments. In two years, Ezell started 24 games.

Ezell, a two-way three-year starter at Steel Valley from 2006-2008, never saw himself as a potential pro football player until his junior year.

“When I first got here, it was more of being focused on being in college and just trying to be the best player in college at the time,” Ezell said. “It started to get more important to me when I started to play more and became a starter my junior year.”

He said he was listed as a defensive end by some who attended his pro day, but he sees himself as a typical gap-plugging 3-4 nose tackle. He said he spoke with scouts from Kansas City, Indianapolis and Cleveland.

“Over the years, I talked with (Steelers coach Mike) Tomlin and just chit-chatted, and he would give me pointers with my game and what he would like to see me work on and everything,” Ezell said. “I need to work on my pass rush more and get a little stronger than I am.

Ezell, 24, is being projected as a late-round pick or an undrafted free agent, but if football doesn't work out, there always is wrestling.

The WWE does have a handful of wrestlers on its roster that played college football: Titus O'Neil (Florida), Bray Wyatt (Troy), and Roman Reigns (Georgia Tech).

“It is a possibility,” Ezell said. “I was thinking about getting into that if it doesn't work out. That was my first love and still is my first love, to be honest with you.”

Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mkaboly@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.