Gophers football: An emotional Tyler Nubin called it ‘unbelievable’ to join New York Giants

A week ago Friday, Tyler Nubin’s life changed forever, and he had the emotions to match the moment.

The Gophers safety was selected by the New York Giants with the 47th overall pick in the second round of the NFL Draft. To share the news, Giants general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll telephoned Nubin.

“Ready to be a New York Giant?” Schoen asked him.

On the other end of the line, Nubin was pacing around a family draft party in Miami. “I’m ready, man,” Nubin said, his voice cracking. “Come get me. Come get me, bro. Oh my God. Thank you so much. You’re gonna get it all.”

Schoen handed the phone to Daboll. “We’re excited to have you,” Daboll shared. “You are such a great guy to watch. Ball hawk. True pro already. You fit what we are trying to build. Congratulations.”

“I appreciate it,” Nubin said, his voice continuing to waver. “You just made the best decision this whole draft.”

The next day in East Rutherford, N.J., Nubin said the previous 24 hours didn’t feel real.

“I’m still trying to catch my breath,” he said. “My voice is kind of gone because I was screaming and crying for hours last night. But it’s been awesome, man. I can’t thank this organization enough for giving me this opportunity.”

Nubin became the fifth Gophers player in the past five years to be selected in the opening two rounds of the NFL Draft, joining center John Michael Schmitz (Giants), Boye Mafe (Seahawk), Rashod Bateman (Ravens) and Antonine Winfield Jr. (Buccaneers) as an early-round pick.

“(Nubin is a) guy with high character, leadership, smart, tough, dependable,” Schoen told reporters. “The 13 career (collegiate) interceptions. Just a good football player. Culture changer at the University of Minnesota. He is going to bring that type of mentality here.”

Nubin said his time at the U prepared him for the next step. While he was credited for changing ways at Minnesota, he said Winfield, Jordan Howden (Saints) and Benjamin St-Juste (Commanders) set a standard for him.

“I think the way the scheme was taught and the way the details were taught definitely prepared me for the NFL,” he shared. “The attention to detail and how everything was and how we ran our defense there definitely prepared me for what is coming, especially in being able to recognize formations and tips and tells from an offensive prospective. I definitely think that is going to help me a lot.”

Nubin’s 13 career picks set a Gophers program record; he told reporters in New Jersey about what goes into racking up all those takeaways.

“I think it’s my preparation and how I attack the game every week. The way I prepare is second to none,” Nubin said. “The way I go about studying the offense and studying offensive coordinators, studying a quarterback and his tells.

“What (a QB) looks like when he is dropping back in the pocket. His set foot, his release points. If he does something like pat the ball before he releases, things like that. That is what gives me my edge when I was in college and that’s what gives me my edge in this game. It’s preparing. I think that is what is going to keep carrying me to do that in the NFL as well.”

Nubin saw the Giants had the No. 31 jersey available and picked it, joining Winfield and Howden in wearing those digits in the NFL. “Carrying tradition,” he said, “of Gopher safeties wearing 31 in the league.”

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