Before I arrived in Tuscaloosa, and even after, Tyler Stein was getting ready.
The former Vanderbilt offensive tackle, who committed to Alabama in mid-April and enrolled one month later, trained with Torrian Wilson prior to graduating and again worked with the former UCF lineman earlier this month. With Wilson, Steen has focused on fundamentals, but recently reconnecting, the former shared their training approach with the latter now at UA.
“This time around, I definitely wanted to lock in on just the different techniques of pass set and when certain things happen, how should he react to it,” Wilson told BamaOnLine. “Making sure that he’s taking the proper technique depending on the alignment of a defender, and that was really the biggest thing. Other things were just working on his set quickness from him, getting in and out of his stance from him and getting to his spot with a sense of urgency. ”
In Steen, Alabama landed the No. 46 overall transfer and third-best offensive tackle, according to the College Football Transfer Portal Top247. And the former Commodore gives the Crimson Tide an experienced starter from an SEC school to compete for the two open tackle spots it has to fill with starters Evan Neal and Chris Owens leaving the program after the season.
Neal, a 3-year starter at three different positions, leaves an enormous vacancy in the Tide’s first-team offensive line as a consensus All-American, team captain and top-five NFL draft pick. But Wilson, in just a short period of time, has been impressed by Steen’s game, and the latest offensive line transfer shares some similarities with another late add, Landon Dickerson.
“There’s two things,” said Wilson, a former UCF player (2010-14) who founded the Crafting Linemen training program. “One is obviously his feet from him. He has really good feet. He plays with his power from him. And the next thing is just his finish, the nastiness of his game, the nastiness he plays with throughout the game are two big things that definitely stand out to me.
Steen joined the Crimson Tide program as a graduate transfer after four seasons in Nashville, bringing starting experience at both left and right tackle with him to the Capstone. He started all 12 games of Vanderbilt’s 2019 season at right tackle before moving to the opposite side of the offensive line, where he spent the last two years in the Commodores’ starting lineup.
Although I have faced similar SEC competition at Vanderbilt, the talent gap in the Commodore and Crimson Tide rosters is quite sizable. Wilson, however, believes Steen can make the leap.
“Absolutely,” Wilson said. “Because yeah, you’re making a jump from Vanderbilt to Alabama, but he still has that mindset of a winner, a dog. The fundamentals are sound, are there. I don’t think it’s gonna be a major difference for him in a sense. I definitely think he’s gonna go there with a mindset – and once you know Tyler and the way he is, the way his mindset is, he’s gonna go there and just be a sponge to the guys that’s been there, to his offensive line coach, to the head coach, to everyone that’s around him.
“He has a very serious and get-it-done attitude. He’s not really big on messing around, playing around. He’s there to do a job and do his purpose, and he’s gonna do that to the best of his ability.
Several players competed for the two tackle openings this spring, including Kendall Randolph, Amari Kight and JC Latham, but none of them have as much experience as Steen, who stands at 6-foot-5, 315 pounds and will wear jersey No. 54 Should he quickly pick up the Alabama offense this summer, he could ultimately claim the left tackle job. Wilson stated why he thinks Steen can be an effective starter for the Tide this upcoming season as a midyear enrollee.
“Just the mindset that he has,” Wilson said. “Constantly asking questions, constantly wanting to get better, constantly working his craft from him. People don’t realize you have to have that mindset. You have to be obsessed with it. You can kind of weed out the guys who are just doing it for fun. He’s not one of those guys.
“He’s one of those guys that’s obsessed with it, wants to constantly get better, constantly wants to watch film. What can he do from the last season to this season to make sure he ups his game even more. He’s constantly asking about the pro guys that I train – ‘What did this guy do when this happened? How does he look with this?’ So he’s constantly just working and finding ways to get better and work his craft from him. ”
The time spent with Wilson has prepared Steen for the fast-approaching start of fall camp.
“He’s more of a guy, right now, that’s just focusing on his game,” Wilson said, “and making sure his game is up to par so when it’s time to get into pads, everything else flows along with what he’s already put in , as far as with the work.”
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