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UCF tackle Tylan Grable takes big step toward achieving his dream at NFL Scouting Combine

Like many kids who grew up around football, Tylan Grable dreamed of playing in the NFL.

He never imagined that he could achieve those dreams as an offensive lineman.

“As a kid, I never said I wanted to play a certain position when I got to the NFL,” Grable recently told the Orlando Sentinel. “My dream was always just to be an NFL player and have a career in the NFL.”

Grable’s been chasing his dream at every level, finishing his college career at UCF in December. The 6-foot-7, 290-pounder was a two-year starter at left tackle for the Knights, participating in 1,854 snaps in 27 games.

He also played at Jacksonville State, earning All-American status after appearing in 20 games.

To prepare for the next step, Grable moved to Fort Myers, where he’s been training for the 2024 NFL Draft. He works out six days a week alongside other college players who share his passion for the game and are equally determined to take their careers to the next level.

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Most days consist of lifting weights, speed and agility drills, and position work. He also utilizes yoga, something he picked up from his time with the Knights.

“Most people see yoga kind of like a stretching and a chill thing,” Grable explained. “But it also improves your strength and stamina. It also has helped me be more flexible, which helps me on the field.”

During his time at the East-West Shrine Bowl earlier this month, Grable connected with NFL scouts and personnel.

“I talked to either 28 or 29 teams,” he said. “I met with pretty much everybody.”

Many scouts knew of him already, having spent time watching him at UCF and his previous stop. The standard message throughout has been to keep working at his craft.

“This is my fourth year playing on the offensive line, so they told me they liked the hard work I’ve been doing,” said Grable. “Some people have been playing offensive line since they were kids and I may be behind the eight ball with that, but as long as I continue to work hard and continue to attack the day the way I’ve been doing, they don’t see a reason why I shouldn’t get to where I want to go.”

NFL personnel have told Grable they see his future at tackle, but he’s also prepared for a possible move to center. He has been working on it since last season when offensive line coach Herb Hand broached the subject with the fifth-year senior. It turns out some NFL scouts had the same idea.

“They reiterated that being able to snap the ball could bring a lot of value to my game, so you can be looking forward to me playing some center as well,” Grable said.

NFL scouting combine invites 2 UCF players to participate

Grable admits he spent the last two seasons studying teammates Lokhai Pauole, Bula Schmidt and Caden Kitler, asking them questions about playing center — everything from snapping the ball to knowing each offensive play.

“I was always picking their brains and trying to find out how they saw the game,” he said. “I see the game differently at tackle than how they see it at center.”

A few weeks after the Shrine Bowl, Grable received an email from the NFL inviting him to the scouting combine in Indianapolis.

“The first thing I did was send it to my coach, Coach Hand, and then I was looking around to see if anybody else had posted anything [on social media about it,” said Grable. “I got mine first and was part of the first wave of people to get invited.”

The enormity of the moment isn’t lost on Grable, especially when he considers he is one of 321 players invited to the weeklong event. One of those is his teammate, receiver Javon Baker.

“I would love to have seen some more of my teammates be able to get in,” Grable said. “But with only two of us from UCF, it shows how hard it is [to get an invite].”

Grable’s focus shifts to the combine, which takes place Monday-March 4. He’s learned much about the process from one of his training coaches, Greg Austin, who was the offensive line coach under then-UCF coach Scott Frost in 2016-17 before moving on to Nebraska (2018-21), Florida International (’22) and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“He said the days can get long, but stay focused throughout the whole thing,” Grable said.

Grable also plans to participate in the Big 12’s Pro Day set for March 28-30 at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

During his time at UCF, Grable said he made a lot of great relationships, many of which he will carry throughout his life.

“To see how they took the time to invest in every one of us, no matter their star level, was big for me,” he said. “They treated everyone equally. They invested in each and everyone the same way no matter what player you were.”

Email Matt Murschel at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on X at @osmattmurschel.