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NFL Draft

Tommy Tremble: 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview Series

  • The Draft Network
  • March 24, 2021
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The tight end position is among the most complex and demanding in today’s NFL, and Notre Dame’s Tommy Tremble has the dynamic skill set to get the job done. Tremble has played a lot of football with his hand in the dirt, but he has every trait imaginable to become a big-time weapon in the passing game at the next level.

One of this year’s top prospects at the position, Tremble recently spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his career at Notre Dame, why he’s the most versatile tight end in this draft class, and what kind of player he’ll be at the next level.

JM: You were born in Johns Creek, Georgia. It’s a very different place from South Bend, Indiana. What was that move like for you?

TT: Johns Creek is about 20 minutes outside Atlanta. I grew up right next to a major city. Going from there to South Bend, it was definitely a big change for me. Being from the south, going up north was definitely a change of scenery.

I wasn’t really used to the cold (laughs). You’ll definitely get used to it in Indiana, though. I’m glad I had that life experience. I didn’t know anything about the cold growing up in Georgia. It gave me a different perspective. It’s good to discover new things, to go outside your comfort zone a bit. I had a great couple of years at Notre Dame.

JM: How do you reflect on your time at Notre Dame?

TT: I made so many great connections there. The people are awesome. 

One thing I attribute a lot of our success to from this past year is how close we were as a team. The locker room was a tight-knit group. You had five-year seniors sitting next to freshmen in the locker room that just got there. Five-year starters were sitting next to guys that hadn’t played a single snap yet.

That’s what makes Notre Dame a special place. We had the best of both worlds.

Throughout my time there, I would say we had the tightest group in the locker room this past year. How close we were as a family, that’s why we were so successful in 2020.

JM: That’s great to hear. There are so many exciting tight ends in this draft class with different skill sets, and you’re one of them. What sets you apart from the rest of this class?

TT: I feel like my physicality brings a different aspect to the table. At the same time, I know a lot of people didn’t see it this past season but I feel like I’m pretty dangerous in the passing game as well.

I really don’t think a lot of guys can match up with me athletically. I can’t wait to show off my athletic tools at my Pro Day [March 30th] and at the next level as well.

JM: I wanna get into that. You’re an excellent blocker, but you also have the potential to be a dangerous weapon in the passing game as well.

TT: My role at Notre Dame this past year was to be an effective blocker. I was used as a blocker more than anything. I didn’t have a problem with it. It helped us win a lot of football games. We made it to the playoffs with the scheme that our coaches created.

I didn’t have a problem with it at all. I was just doing my job. I enjoy doing the dirty work. I really love doing it. I just love playing football in general. There’s nothing better than getting on that field and doing what I do to the best of my ability. I had so much fun this past year.

JM: I love that answer because I imagine NFL teams are going to ask you why we didn’t see you get more targets in the passing game.

TT: I’m going to tell them the same thing I told you because that’s the truth. There was nothing else to it. I executed the game plan on a weekly basis. Our coaches did a great job scheming up each game. That’s why we had so much success as a team in 2020.

That’s how we wanted to play the game. I respected and trusted our coaches. The results speak for themselves. We were a top four team in the country.

JM: There’s no doubt about it. What’s your favorite part of playing the tight end position?

TT: We get to do a little bit of everything on the field. I love that. We can slap heads with defensive linemen as blockers on the line of scrimmage, and we can beat safeties and linebackers in coverage. We do a little bit of everything.

I love the versatility that comes with the tight end position. I lined up everywhere. You can see it on tape. I lined up at wing, in-line, at fullback, in the slot, and sometimes outside. I don’t think there’s another tight end in this class that can match my versatility.

This position allows me to play all over the field, and there’s nothing better than that.

JM: Do you have a favorite route to run?

TT: We had this one route, it was kinda like a read-option. We would motion in and back out. It was a triple option and we would motion to check if the coverage was man or zone.

Depending on what it was, it was kinda like a choice route. We ran that off of three different concepts. If it was two-high, we tried to split the safeties. If it was man on man, get on your toes and snap across, run something like a dig route. If the coverage was one-high, I could take it up the seam. It was a great play that we had a lot of success with.

JM: That’s a great answer. You’re so physical on tape. You’re so unique. I’m curious, which tight ends did you admire growing up? Do you model your game after anybody in particular?

TT: I really love watching George Kittle. I would go home and watch his YouTube highlights all day long. I could do that for two to three hours every night. Seeing what he does in the passing game and as a blocker in the run game, he’s so dominant on the line of scrimmage. I really wanted to model my game after his. 

I didn’t get as many opportunities in the passing game but every time I get the ball in my hands, I’m trying to do what George Kittle does to defenders.

JM: That’s a great choice and I see a lot of similarities in your game. We’ve reached the virtual part of the draft. How is that process going for you?

TT: I’ve met with roughly 13 teams so far [writer’s note: this interview was completed on 2/26].

I’m really enjoying this process. I’m living out my dreams right now. It doesn’t matter that we’re meeting virtually, over the phone, or whatever, I’m just so thankful to have this experience. 

JM: There’s a lot of interest in you and it’s easy to see why. You’re one of the most dynamic, all-around tight ends in this class. If you could catch a pass from any quarterback in the NFL, who would you choose and why?

TT: It’s funny, even though I’m from Atlanta, I grew up a Seahawks fan. My dad’s friend was a DL coach in Seattle the year they won the Super Bowl.

When I was a little kid, I idolized Russell Wilson. His situation seems a little up in the air right now, but catching a pass from him would be a dream come true for me. Heck, to even talk to him again would be amazing (laughs).

JM: I love that. In your early days, you played behind some great tight ends at Notre Dame, including Cole Kmet last year. What did you learn from that experience?

TT: Cole Kmet is a student of the game. He’s just a monster on the field too. Playing behind him was a great learning experience for me. I learned a lot just from watching how he approaches the week and how he prepared for each game.

His preparation process was so great. He went out there and had a big game every week. He always stepped on the field with so much confidence. It rubbed off on me.

To sit behind someone like Cole Kmet during my first year of college football, I couldn't have asked for a better player and person to sit behind and learn from.

JM: That’s a terrific answer. I’ve really appreciated your time today, Tommy. I feel like you’ve given our readers a chance to get to know one of the most exciting tight ends in this draft class and I thank you for that.

In closing, what kind of guy is a team getting when they spend a draft pick on Tommy Tremble?

TT: They’re getting a guy that can do it all on the field. I give it my all on every single play. I don’t know another way. I always put my best foot forward. Whatever the team needs me to do, that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m a team player. I’ve proven that. I’m incredibly passionate about the game of football.

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