The NFL Draft is quickly approaching and prospects throughout the country are preparing themselves for a chance to play on the next level. Recently Mickey Shuler Jr., son of former Jets great Mickey Shuler, took some time to answer a few questions. Mickey, a tight end from Penn State, is coming off of an outstanding performance at his Pro-Day and could be a player that the Jets have their eye on come draft day.
Tyson Rauch- NY Jets Examiner: Your father, Mickey Shuler Sr., had a very successful NFL career, especially while with the New York Jets. How much of an influence did your Dad have on your football career?
Mickey Shuler, Jr.: My dad was the first person to believe in me and give me the direction to see the big picture in football and how I could fit in it, if I was willing to pay the price. He gave me advice and showed me the concepts and techniques to prepare to someday be a tight end in the NFL. My father was my football coach in high school and taught me catching drills, how to use my eyes, and how to use my running posture to influence the defender to turn their hips, put them on their heels and out of their comfort zone. My dad also showed me techniques to stretch zones and pressure man coverage. I have trained with these concepts since high school, and will finally get to use them in the NFL where they work best.
In addition my father also helped me with my thought processes and how being prepared to the utmost of my ability was the only thing I had control over. Everything else will work itself out. This helped me learn how to stay focused on what I could do, which was to work hard, and not spend any energy on things out of my control. He helped me understand that being prepared increases your confidence. These were the kinds of things that helped me throughout my college career and through this whole process leading up to my Pro Day at Penn State.
TR: Mickey you decided to attend Penn State University, your father’s Alma Mater. Did you feel any pressure to have the same type of productivity as your Dad?
MS: I wanted to be a Nittany Lion my whole life so it really wasn’t a hard decision for me. I did have to look at other schools because I didn’t receive a scholarship offer until basketball season my senior year in high school. I didn’t feel any extra pressure of living up to my father besides wanting to have the type of career he did. By the time I was a sophomore in college, I realized that I am my own person and I wanted people to remember me for me, and not being the son of Mickey Shuler. It was also kind of cool when people would tell me that they got déjà vu when they would watch me play. We had the same number, played for the same team, and looked the same when we were playing, except of course I am faster!
TR: Looking back at your collegiate career, what do you consider some of your biggest accomplishments?
MS: One of the biggest accomplishments of my career was becoming a starter when everybody doubted me and said I would never play. There is just something about people doubting you that drives you inside and gives you that extra motivation to become the best you can. One of my most memorable experiences is catching my first college pass and running it in for a touchdown.
TR: You are now in the midst of preparing for the 2010 NFL Draft. What are some of the things that you have been working on in order to be better prepared to play in the National Football League?
MS: Well for the last two months I was training at Athletes Performance and working mainly on the drills for my Pro-Day. I also got to work a lot on the receiving part of my game and catch balls from Sam Bradford and Dan Lefevour. Now that the Pro-Day is over I can really start doing things like 1 on 1’s in both pass blocking and receiving, which is a big part at the next level. Luckily I have a great coach in my dad who can critique me in whatever I do. I also have talked to other guys like Kyle Brady who are helping me learn how to study film in more detail and the different techniques for blocking.
TR: Many teams in the NFL are looking for help at the tight end position, how would you breakdown your skill sets for all of the scouts out there?
MS: I am the total tight end who can block just as well as be a receiver. I don’t think that there is many guys left that can do both. I know how to run a pattern while using my body language and my eyes to get a defender to move to where I want him to. I also understand how to block using leverage and my hands. I understand that at 251 pounds I need to have great technique in order to be able to block guys who are bigger than me.
TR: You recently completed a very successful Pro-Day, what are your next steps as the NFL Draft quickly approaches?
MS: My whole goal at the Pro-Day was to test well enough that some scouts would want to personally work me out. As of now I am just working out in the weight room as well as working on my football skills. Other than that it is just a waiting game until a team calls and wants to work me out.
TR: The New York Jets could be in the market for a tight end. What would your thoughts be on playing for Gang Green?
MS: Well I guess since I went to the same high school as my father and the same college, the Jets would be my next stop! It would be a dream come true for me to get an opportunity to play in the NFL, and to play for the New York Jets would be awesome.
TR: Mickey, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. Best of luck with the rest of your draft preparation, it would be great to see you get a chance to suit up in the green and white.
As mentioned earlier, Mickey had a very good showing at his Pro-Day. Here are his results as supplied by X-A-M Sports.
Weight: 251 lbs
40-Yard Dash: 4.62 (would have placed him 3rd among all tight ends at the 2010 NFL Combine)
Vertical Jump: 37.5” (would have placed him 3rd among all tight ends at the 2010 NFL Combine)
Broad Jump: 10’11” (would have placed him 1st among all tight ends at the 2010 NFL Combine)
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.25 (would have placed him 2nd among all tight ends at the 2010 NFL Combine)
3-Cone: 6.70 (would have placed him 1st among all tight ends at the 2010 NFL Combine)
Bench Press: 28 reps (would have placed him 2nd among all tight ends at the 2010 NFL Combine)
60-Yard Shuttle: 11.19 (would have placed him 1st among all tight ends at the 2010 NFL Combine)