Tyrell Chavis, ladies and gentlemen.
Hometown/High School/Prep School/FBS/College: Richmond, VA/Varina HS/Fork Union Military Academy/University of Virginia/Nassau CC
Weight: 320 lbs.
Recruited By: Unknown
Starz 'n Sheetz
Starz: 4* Scout, ESPN, 3* 247, Rivals
Sheetz: Penn State, Auburn, West Virginia, Miami (FL), Texas, Louisville, East Carolina, Illinois, Rutgers, UCF, Kentucky, Marshall
I will be sending the next 2 years of my collegiate career as an Wild Dog!!! #WeAre— Tyrell Chavis (@tyrell_chavis) February 2, 2016
Chavis has had quite a journey to get to Penn State. Out of high school, he committed to Virginia but spent a year post-graduation at Fork Union Military Academy (the former home of one Christian Hackenberg). He redshirted the 2013 season for Virginia before transferring to Nassau Community College, where he played up until this season, earning a reputation as one of the better JUCO prospects in the country.
Penn State lost its top three defensive tackles from the 2015 team with Austin Johnson declaring for the NFL Draft and Anthony Zettel and Tarow Barney (himself a JUCO transfer) finishing up their eligibility. So it was no surprise that, with such a young group (the oldest defensive tackle on the team is Parker Cothren, who has two years left), Penn State was looking for an older player to step in until the young guys are ready.
Chavis officially visited Penn State on Friday, January 29. It was his third official visit after a November visit to West Virginia and a December visit to Auburn. And one day before national signing day, Chavis made the call for the Nittany Lions.
Chavis could be analogous to Barney, transferred to Penn State as a JUCO defensive tackle after the 2013 season, and he was part of the tackle rotation for both 2014 and 2015. He was not a starter, but with Johnson and Zettel ahead of him, that is no knock on Barney's ability.
With less experienced competition here, there will be plenty of opportunities for Chavis to earn a starting role while younger players acclimate themselves to Brent Pry's defense. That said, if younger players show enough to beat him out, he still provides valuable depth. According to ESPN, "Chavis is a big, strong, physical and active presence in the trenches. Room to improve and refine technique and has limited clock, but if able to enroll mid-year that is a plus and could aid development and with size and strength could come in and quickly contribute to a D-Line rotation."
Welcome to Penn State, Tyrell!