THE NEXT LEVEL With Tyrell Nielsen

April 7, 2011

Tyrell Nielsen Former Woodland Beaver, Current Central Washington Wildcat Defensive End

  • Tyrell Nielsen
  • 6’6″ 250 lbs
  • Central Washington University (Junior)
  • Defensive Line
  • Varsity Letterman (2x)
  • 2nd Team All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference
  • Preseason All-American
  • Team Captain
  • Woodland (Class of 2006)
  • Varsity Letterman (3x)
  • 1st Team GSHL All-League
  • 2nd Team GSHL All-League
  • Woodland Team Defensive MVP (2x)
  • 2005 AP 1st Team All-State

What was your favorite TV show in high school?

Tyrell – I don’t think I had one… I loved watching History channel. I really only like watching the stuff about our military or wars and stuff.

What was your most memorable moment playing high school football?

Tyrell – It would have to be a 55-7 win over then conference leaders and champs Castle Rock. My class had never beaten their class. That is my Senior class had never beaten their Senior class. The win was taken on their homecoming, in a game when we weren’t even suppose to be able to keep up with them.

How many different positions did you play from youth football through the end of your HS career? If you could have chosen another position other than quarterback, what would have it been?

I didn’t play Freshman year. I had “more important things to do.” but that year off made me realize how much I loved and missed the game.

Tyrell – Well I can’t remember all but I think it was Middle Linebacker in seventh and eighth grade and a Slot Receiver. High School I was a Tight End, D-end guy, however I didn’t play Freshman year. I had “more important things to do.” but that year off made me realize how much I loved and missed the game. I wouldn’t go back and change not playing if I could, it hugely affected my high school career.

Who is your favorite musical artist?

Tyrell – Toby Keith! He likes to party and is definitely American.

Do you have an iPhone?

Tyrell – Droid

Did you have any game day/game time rituals in high school? If so, what were they?

Tyrell – In high school… I can’t think of any intentional rituals, unintentional, trying to pee 100 times before the game. Somehow I alwayse had to go but never could.

Compare your relationship with your high school teammates to that of your college teammates. Assuming that you grew up with most of your high school teammates for years prior to playing together with them, and your college teammates came from all over the country.

Tyrell – High School teamates are those guys you have played with forever. You know everything about them and love playing with them. That was a huge adjustment to get used to about college, playing with guys you didn’t know anything about. On the other hand a lot of people get to play high school football and very few get to play in college. Those guys who you play college football with are extraordinary athletes who you learn to love. I really missed my buddies when I got to college, but after a few years, the guys you play with in college become great friends. Most of the D-line guys I play with now, I wouldn’t trade to play with my high school buddies. Only because the have very similar work ethics. They have to in order to play at this level… They work their butts off to be here and love the game almost as much as I do. The difference, I am way fonder of playing with my college buddies than my high school buddies.

Who influenced you the most as a High School football player?

Tyrell Nielsen Former Woodland Beaver, Current Central Washington Wildcat Defensive EndTyrell – My head coach Mark Greenlief who played in college and was the most helpful in getting to the next level. Tim Kofstad, a father of one of my friends, who also played at Central Washington and was an All-American Linebacker while he played there. Tim never knew but the goal of my senior year was to beat his single game tackling record. I never accomplished it but he set it at 28 tackles, I came up short with 24 or 26, either way it wasnt enough.

Xbox, PS3, or Wii? What is your favorite game?

Tyrell – Well N64 of course! I dont have any of the above, but my roomate does! I would have to say COD Black Ops

Explain your recruiting process. How many schools did you visit? Did anything interesting happen during this process?

Taylor – I went to one official visit to Central Washington, but went to a Western Washington game against Central to watch Western. I also went to a Portland State game, even though they were not intending to pursue me as a recruit. I was “too small” to play D1-AA. After I had verbally committed to Central, Western Washington started taking a serious look and came to the school for a meeting. After going on my visit to Central I never had any intentions to go anywhere else. That was the school I wanted to play for. Exciting… the whole experience of going to a college for a weekend and being around those players is surreal. Especially when you get home and most your friends will never experience anything like that. I would have to tell all those going on recruiting trips to look seriously at the school and the type of program the place is but really enjoy it. Also pay attention to how many transfers are at the program. The more transfers there are the bigger the clue that the coaches may not be developing players, but simply recruiting young guys only to replace them with transfers.

Do you prefer Madden or NCAA? Why?

I’m not the best at video games and am way too competitive to keep losing. So I decided to be the bigger person! I don’t play.

Tyrell – Dont play either. I’m not the best at video games and am way too competitive to keep losing. So I decided to be the bigger person! I don’t play.

Who influenced you the most as a college football player?

Tyrell – Mitch Reffet, a guy I met on my recruiting trip and probly the hardest working guy I’ve ever hung out with. He turned into a really great friend and taught me the mentallity of a Central D-lineman. Well the mean old-school ones.

What would you tell young kids entering high school is the most important thing (besides school) they need to do to become an elite level player?

Taylor – Stay out of trouble! Obviously… lol Coachability and work ethic.

What was your most embarrassing moment playing high school football?

Tyrell Nielsen Former Woodland Beaver, Current Central Washington Wildcat Defensive EndTyrell – having a seven yard tackle for loss against Montesano’s Adam Bighill only to get stiff armed for a 60 yard run around the end. I played college ball with Bighill and for four years couldnt talk trash to him because he would bring that up, shut me up every time.

What is your favorite TV show now?

Tyrell – Modern Family, Tosh.0

What was your most memorable moment (so far) playing college football?

Tyrell – Three sacks three plays in a row right before half. Or either one of my touchdowns, 35 yard fumble return against Ashland in the playoffs, or 55 yard fumble return against Dixie I believe.

Explain a typical week during football season with class, practice, game, other time.

Tyrell – Wakeup around 7:00 and make breakfast. Class at 9, 10, and 11. lunch at noon. Special Team meeting around 2:30, position meeting at 3:00 to watch film of the previous days practice. Practice at 4:30, practice over around 6:45, lift at 7:00. 8:00 drag your butt home to make dinner. 9:00 do the dishes, lol, start homework if any. 11:00 sleep.

How much college football do you get to watch during the season? (not counting film sessions)

Tyrell – A person could watch as much as they want, I love playing the game but don’t sit around much and watch it. I only end up watching the D-ends trying to learn a new pass rush move or try and pick up technique stuff.

How often do you make it back to Woodland?

Tyrell – Well my parents have moved towns a couple times since I graduated. So I go back probly 5 times a year to see my sister, and brother who still live in the area, and a couple of high school buddies. I pretty much live in Ellensburg year round.

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One Response to “THE NEXT LEVEL With Tyrell Nielsen”

  1. Tyrell Nielsen on April 28th, 2011 10:42 am

    Bryan, thank you so much for running the story. i feel very honored to have a story run about me back home. dont really feel like ive done a whole lot worth writing about. regardless i am very thankful that you got ahold of me to write down a little about me. if anyone gets ahold of you or young guys that are seriously trying to come play ball at central, get ahold of me. i would love to try and help out some back home kids even if its just talking mentalities or what to expect about college ball. i have loved my football experience and wouldnt trade anything for what i have been so privilaged to be apart of. thank you this has meant alot to me

    I would also like to tell the younger high school guys not to get discouraged with strength or size. i played my senior year of highschool at 6’4″ 195 lbs. no kidding. got to college at 205 lbs, playing D-end mind you. and will be playing my senior season here at Central at 6’6″ 265lbs. you never know whats going to happen. also the D-tackle that plays next to me, Mike Reno, my roomate, played quarterback and outside linebacker in highschool at 205lbs. he is now 285 and a huge part of our defensive front. size comes you just have to keep working hard.

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