Texas native Mbi Tanyi turned down the stereotype that everything is bigger in Texas for a B1Gger experience, committing to Maryland and joining forces with 16 other athletes from the class of 2015. Randy Edsall and company have really stretched their recruiting barriers, attracting 11 out-of-staters to College Park, including Deltron Sands and Jahrvis Davenport from Florida and Jameel Cook and Tanyi from the Longhorn state.
The recruit: Mbi Tanyi
High School: Bush High School, Richmond, Texas
Position: Strong-side defensive end or offensive guard, roll a die
247sports composite: He was tagged with three stars, ranking 178th best player in the state of Texas, the 66th best strong-side defensive end in the nation and the 1,432nd best player overall. Considered a two star recruit from Rivals, Tanyi's composite ranking according to 247sports ranks the lowest in the class.
Measurables: He is listed at 6'3'' or just a hair under, and weighs in at around 247 pounds. According to ESPN, Tanyi ran a 5.00 40, posted 29 inches on his vertical leap and revved up to 36 on his power throw.
Junior season: Bush went 9-3 but fell to Manvell in the playoffs 51-44. A two-way player on both offensive and defensive lines, Tanyi posted two sacks according to Maxpreps.
Offers: Tanyi received a pretty scattered list of offers ranging from prominent programs like Washington to mid-majors like Air Force, Houston and Louisiana Tech.
Watch his film here
On film: So, I wasn't positive on what to expect when watching Tanyi's film. On ESPN he is considered an offensive guard while on Rivals he is deemed a defensive end, all the while 247sports claims he is both. His versatility speaks to his athleticism and capability to play on both the offensive and defensive lines, not to mention he is a varsity letterman in basketball as well. His flexibility and versatility can serve as both a gift and a curse for his future. It's a gift in that he could really change his position to focus on what serves the team's needs best. It could be a curse in that he has never fully committed to one side of the ball, sort of like a switch-hitter in baseball forced to choose one way to swing the bat.
Looking at his film and solely his film, it seems that Tanyi would be more comfortable playing offensive guard instead of defensive end. There were 24 plays featured on the film that lasted just shy of three minutes and all but four of them showed Tanyi protecting the quarterback. Now, this could be a bit of a downer for Tanyi considering Maryland has already reeled in several offensive lineman in E.J. Donahue, Ellis McKennie, Will McClain and Mason Zimmerman from the class of 2015 to tag along with the young arsenal of Damian Prince and Derwin Gray. Simply put, he isn't needed on the offensive line. Even with the addition of Keiron Howard to 2015's class, Maryland is still very thin on the defensive line and Tanyi should wind up there.
From an offensive line standpoint, Tanyi was a bulldozer. At the 1:57 mark, he pulled off a Michael Oher, Blindside-esque pancake, dragging his opponent more than 15 yards before putting him on his back. Playing in a state where they eat, breathe and live for Friday night clashes, the competition for Tanyi was solid, especially playing Class 5A football. Most of the offensive plays were either running plays or screen passes, which Tanyi seemed to excel in, never giving up an inch and using his frame to force an opening for his running backs and yield his opposition out of the way.
Defensively, what I saw was raw. He got to the quarterback in the four plays exhibited in his film, but it was only enough for the appetizer, not the entre. Tanyi's 5.00 40 time isn't ideal for his potential spot at defensive end, especially when you put his speed alongside incumbent starter and rising junior Quinton Jefferson who ran a 4.5 out of high school. However, we can compare his time to tackling machine Andre Monroe, who recorded a 4.8 yet even a train couldn't stop his path to the quarterback last season.
Expect Tanyi to be redshirt while he and the coaching staff figure out where he fits best. No matter what position this kid winds up at, he has the size and athleticism to compete for a spot on the field down the road.