Alabama relentless in pursuit of OL transfer Tyler Steen
Tyler Steen saw plenty of action during his first four years at Vanderbilt University. The three-year starter (two years at left tackle) for the Commodores entered the transfer portal in January. Plenty of schools reached out including Alabama. He is also heavily pursued by LSU, N.C. State, Penn State, UCLA and USC. It seems the Pac-12 schools are on the outside looking in unless Steen decides to visit prior to making a decision.
The decision will likely happen prior to the end of the month per his father, Daris Steen. He told BamaInsider on Thursday Tyler will visit N.C. State this weekend. He is scheduled to visit Alabama on March 25-27. A decision will happen shortly after the visit to Tuscaloosa. Daris has visited Tuscaloosa in the past, but this is his son’s first opportunity to see what Alabama has to offer.
“Alabama is the last visit,” Daris Steen said. “The first thing he is looking for is academics. I graduated from Pepperdine, and my wife, who is an attorney, graduated from Berkeley. He wants to go to a good MBA program. He also is looking for a great winning tradition and a stable of proven coaches.
“We have mainly talked with Coach Wolf (new Alabama offensive line coach Eric Wolford). I know Tyler had at least one conversation with Coach Saban. All the schools are recruiting him a little differently. Some more aggressive than others. He’s just looking for the right fit. Alabama looks like they may have a need at left tackle.”
Alabama has been one of the biggest winners of the transfer portal this off-season with additions from cornerback Elias Ricks, running back Jahmry Gibbs, and wide receiver Jermaine Burton. All three have enrolled at Alabama and expect to make a major impact for the Tide. Alabama is also in the market for a transfer lineman. The Steen family has noticed the effort from Alabama especially the new offensive line coach.
“Coach Wolf is a closer,” Steen’s father said. “He is relentless. The key thing in my industry is to always stay in front of your client or at least try to. He stays in front of you whether that’s with a picture, a call or text. He is constantly around without being there in person. That’s an outstanding trait to have.”
Steen’s grandfather, Rodney Maxwell Davis, was killed in Vietnam and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The Department of Defense named one of its guided missile frigates of the United States Navy after the Marine Sergeant, the USS Rodney M. Davis. Steen shares the same middle name as his grandfather. His father (Darris) also served in the Marines, and Tyler wears his dog tags in every game.
“He has the discipline of a retired marine,” Daris said about his son. “He will do whatever it takes to win. He used to be so angry in the locker room when some players weren’t bothered by losing. He has always been a super, sore loser from the time he was five years old.”
Darris remembers returning home from a business trip and noticed Tyler sitting on the stairs in a football shirt and shorts. Tyler informed his dad he had registered to play football.
“I told him him there is no quitting allowed,” Steen said to his son who was five years old at the time. “I told him he has to finish the season because others are depending on him. I told him we had to train him up so that he could be the best contributor he could be. He has always been one of the top players on his team and always been a starter. He has always worked on his craft."
Steen has two younger brothers- Blake, signed a football scholarship with Virginia in February. Dylan, an eighth grader, has already received an offer from Kentucky. The family has endured the ultimate sacrifice, and has been blessed with success on-and-off the field. Tyler has put himself in a great position to continue his journey as a football player. He will also have many opportunities to succeed in life thanks to his work ethic and family who helped pave the way.