Can’t miss it Two bondle sweatshirt. There’s a lot to it, but it’s not just that he’s 6-foot-4 and weighs 362 pounds.
But then add the chain. The dinner plate-sized diamond-encrusted medallion reads “MAKE ‘EM SWEAT.” I don’t know how heavy it is, but I do know that my neck hurts sometimes.
“With those big chains on, he’s about 380 years old,” said Jay Oliphant, Sweat’s high school basketball coach.
Sweat loves a chain inspired by the giant watch worn by Public Enemy rapper Flavor Flav. It’s big and flashy.
It was also his mother’s idea.
That’s no surprise, because if you talk to anyone who knows Sweat, the first thing they’ll say is that he’s a motherfucker.
“We go outside and let them sweat,” mother Lashunda Ross said of the medallion’s inspiration. “They get nervous when they see you. They always double-team you with her two.”
However, there is a second side to the medallion. Something that people rarely see. That was all Sweat’s work. On the back are photos of her mother, great-uncle, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
This is the dual nature of Tyvondre Sweat, the wrecking ball who was the physical embodiment of the University of Texas’ rise to its first College Football Playoff appearance. The goofy, fun-loving Mazacon is also the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and just a few weeks ago won the Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation’s best interior lineman in Texas for the first time since 1977.
He will play a key role for the Longhorns on Monday when No. 3 Texas takes on No. 2 Washington in the College Football Playoff in the Allstate Sugar Bowl (8:45 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App). The Longhorns will be aiming for free. He brings defenders up to slow down the Huskies’ dangerous passing attack.
“He’s difficult to move,” Texas defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said Thursday. “He takes up a lot of space. He lets in multiple blockers, which frees up the linebackers. It gives him a little more luxury to play in a light box.”
And Sweat has already notified the Huskies that he is ready.
“Let’s see how I can say this… They’re a great group, O-line,” Sweat said. “I mean, they won an award. It’s just an award to me, you know what I mean? And they have to play against guys like us, so we’ll see what happens. Let’s do it.”
He went on to do an unprecedented four years of dirty work on the D-line, making them sweat all year long, and his top honor last year was honorable mention All-Big 12 selection. Despite coming in as one of the lowest players on the Texas roster, he managed to break out as a three-star player on a team that had long lacked superstar expectations.
He’s managed to gain 100 pounds since graduating high school in Huntsville, a town of about 45,000 people in East Texas about 110 miles north of Houston. He did it by suffocating defenders — Texas allowed just 80.9 rushing yards per game, fourth best in the nation — and flexing and swiping meanly all over the field. did.
Huntsville High School coach Rodney Southern was not surprised by this, but he told Sweat during his playing days that he would eventually become an NFL player. But Southern is surprised at how huge Sweat has become.
“The last time he came to my office, he came through the door and stood in the doorway, so he filled the entire doorway,” he said. “What you see now is a bigger, happier version of what I had.”
like a chainT’Vondre Sweat also has two sides.
“He plays like a bully,” Texas nickelback Jahday Barron said. “In my eyes, a bully is someone who wants something and takes it from the person who wants it. That’s Sweat as a player.”
“It’s violent,” linebacker Jaylan Ford said. “He makes big people look small. This guy is a beast. He literally moves people out of his way.”
When he’s not on the field?
“That’s stupid,” Baron said.
“I know everyone on the team,” Ford said. “I say [Sweat’s] Honestly, he’s probably the easiest person to talk to. He just talks to anyone and everyone. It doesn’t really matter. He’ll probably talk to the guy for about half an hour. He’s probably the nicest, most gentle, down-to-earth guy. ”
He didn’t even want to play soccer to begin with — “I was a coward, I can’t lie,” he said of his early days — but his mother and aunt Lisa I made a plan to help soccer. he gets excited Lisa often made cookies, and it was clear to 5-year-old Tivondre that if he scored, he would get a cookie.
“He looked in her face to see if she had a cookie and then started running and scored the touchdown,” Ross said. “He was greedy so he could eat.” The reward system worked.
“Maybe that’s why I’m so big,” Sweat said.
Now, as a fifth-year player, he is the second-biggest player on Texas’ best team since 2009.
It’s not like he wasn’t a big deal in Huntsville. He was athletic, 6-4, .280, played defensive end and once recorded 4.5 sacks in a game. He also starred on the basketball team and was named the district’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Sweat touted how great he is on the court, saying he can play any position from point guard to center.
“Huntsville had some good big guys, but he was the only big guy who could actually go into the game at over 260 pounds, could defend a point guard, could handle the ball, could… “Try doing it little by little,” Oliphant said. “He was telling the truth about it.”
Even as he reminisces and exaggerates, Sweat remains humble. “I should have been D-III in basketball,” he said.
Basketball spotlighted his athleticism, staying in shape and showing lightness on his feet, making him even more appealing to Texas, where former defensive line coach Oscar Giles gave Sweat some shine. He started collecting offers, about 17 in total. However, Texas made the most serious effort to secure a contract for Sweat.
“I was wondering why more people weren’t paying attention to him,” Arizona State cornerbacks coach Brian Carrington said. He was one of Sweat’s primary recruiters at the University of Texas when he was the Longhorns’ director of recruiting. “He had offers from Texas A&M, Alabama, TCU and Missouri State. But he didn’t feel those schools recruited him hard enough.”
Swett agreed, saying there was only one school that was consistent to his ears. “I felt like they didn’t need me,” Sweat said. “No one else was recruiting me as hard as Texas and Coach Giles.”
It might not have mattered anyway. Texas’ location made a big difference in his priorities.
“I’m a motherfucker,” Sweat said. “I didn’t want to go that far, but I also didn’t want to be this close.”
And Sweat joked that growing up as a huge Kevin Durant fan played a bit of a role, too.
“Honestly, the reason I came to Texas was because I thought I would meet KD,” Sweat said.
Sweatshirt has arrived Austin has accepted his new home. He started connecting with people outside of football, he said, but he was also getting a chance to get some playing time early on. Then he fell in love with country music with all his might.
“I’d love to be friends with Luke Combs,” he said, adding that “Crazy Beautiful” is his favorite song and that he’s also a big fan of Morgan Wallen and Brett Young.
“Some of my teammates don’t even want to get in the car with me,” Sweat said. “Ride with me, leave me alone. Listen to this.”
Then he started working in the weight room and then at the dining table. “When you play at the University of Texas, one of the things they do is make sure they eat,” Sweat said. “You don’t have to worry about food.”
By 2021, Sweat had put on 100 pounds and looked the part, but his future was uncertain when Tom Herman was fired and Steve Sarkisian replaced him. However, Sarkisian rehired former Longhorns (and Alabama, NFL) defensive line coach Bo Davis, who brought with him a reputation as a nurturing talent for the NFL.
That fall, Texas lost 30-7 to Iowa State, and as Davis boarded the bus after the game, he heard laughter. A recording of Davis’ reaction was leaked on social media, and it wasn’t pretty.
“This isn’t a game to me,” Davis exclaimed. “If you think it’s a game, get off this bus. I got my ass kicked and my moms were laughing.”
It was an inflection point in the Longhorns’ turnaround, but it’s what Sarkisian was talking about this season after Texas returned to Ames and won 26-16.
“I think you could hear the passion in Beau’s voice,” Sarkisian said. “Bo made it very clear that we are here to win championships, we are here to compete for championships, and it continues day in and day out… I think the fact that you remember that is a good thing.”
Last month, Sweat appeared on a podcast and laughed and said he was a player, joking that maybe the statute of limitations had run out.
Davis wouldn’t say whether he knew, but the two have come a long way since that moment. Sweat said Davis created a brotherhood among the defensive linemen that made them all better, making Sweat and Byron Murphy perhaps the best tackling pair in the country.
“It was fun to coach him because he has a sense of humor and he enjoys it,” Davis said. “But he’s serious about the hours he goes to work.”
Davis’ skill was evident during Sweat’s breakout season last year, entering his fifth year at the University of Texas after deciding to avoid the NFL for a year.
“He added some zeros and maybe some commas to the amount he was supposed to receive,” Southern said. But the NFL will make its own assessment of his size.
“Some may question the value of a 360-pound defensive tackle in the first round, but I really like this player and think he can help an NFL defense in any situation,” Mel Kiper said. Junior writes in his latest Big Board: There he ranks Sweat as the No. 21 overall candidate.
In 2015, Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN that big tackles like 6-5, 349-pound Terrence Cody, a two-time consensus All-American, were becoming obsolete. .
“Cody can’t play for us right now,” Saban said. “It’s going to be hard to get him in the game now. And he’s been a great player for us. Five or six years ago, nobody could block him.”
Davis was also Cody’s D-line coach. But that’s not the case with sweats, he said.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, when Sweat is in the game, the Texans are pressured by opposing quarterbacks 38% of the time, compared to 31% without him. Opposing quarterbacks completed 58% of his passes when he wasn’t on the field, and he reached 62% when he wasn’t on the field, and the off-target probability was 16% when he wasn’t on the field. At that time he was 7%.
“A lot of guys are big, but they don’t have any flexibility in their hips,” Davis said. ”[Sweat] He can move like a 290 pound man. He can turn him around and lose weight. That’s the great thing about watching him and watching what he does. ”
Sweat said he was aware of the argument and that Davis told him how to end it.
“If you don’t want your weight to be an issue, be a bastard,” Davis told him. “Don’t come at me, come out for a couple of plays. Be you.”
Sweat was on my own all year long. And he and the Longhorns reaped the benefits.
“His level of maturity and growth as a teammate was amazing to watch,” Kwiatkowski said. “He’s a very influential guy in the locker room.”
Sweat racked up awards, led Texas to the CFP, and even caught a touchdown pass in the Big 12 Championship game against Oklahoma State to pull off a deliberate Heisman pose. “It was really cool to score a touchdown and win my first Big 12 Championship Game,” he said. “I mean, it doesn’t feel any better.”
The big man has been making them sweat all year.