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July 30, 2001
Larry Tumblin Interview
We would like to thank Larry Tumblin for talking the time to talk to the Panther Lair. Larry personifies the term “tough guy”. He is an aggressive, physical and nasty linebacker. Look for this modern day gladiator to make some noise in the future at Heinz Field.
After years of futility, the Panthers defense has recently gained national recognition. Headhunters such as defensive end Bryan Knight and safety Ramon Walker have personified the type of players capable of thriving in the Panthers “attack” style defense. The Panthers recent Class of 2002 recruit, linebacker/defensive end Larry Tumblin (6-3 235) from Oberlin High School (near Cleveland, OH), appears to be a future star in the making. At 6-3 235 lbs., Tumblin runs the forty yard dash in an impressive 4.7 seconds. He can bench press 300 lbs., squat 600 lbs., and dead lift 500 lbs. As a junior, he registered 138 total tackles and 8 sacks. Larry was named First-Team All-Lorain County and All-Ohio special mention for Divisions IV, V and VI. Despite Tumblin’s accomplishments, many upper echelon programs have overlooked him. In addition to being included in Ohio’s smallest classification (Division V), Oberlin High School has recently struggled on the football field. To further muddle the waters, Tumblin decided to skip all summer camps and programs. Pitt, Louisville, Toledo, Bowling Green, Ohio University, Eastern Michigan, and Central Michigan were the only schools that felt comfortable enough to offer him an early scholarship. Ohio State was interested in Tumblin, but the Buckeye’s coaching staff wanted to wait until early in the season to evaluate Larry. The Panthers coaching staff believes they have found their next “Ramon Walker”.
Larry chose the Panthers for a variety of reasons. “I liked the education, the style of defense the Panthers play, and the facilities were simply awesome,” stated Tumblin. He went on to add, “Their (scholarship) offer meant a lot to me. They were willing to give me a shot and see how I play. I plan on proving myself and showing other schools they made a mistake.” Larry visited Pitt in mid-May. Tumblin is extremely confident in his abilities. When asked to describe himself on the football field, Tumblin immediately uttered, “I’m an aggressive linebacker. I like to shut everything down. I want teams to be worried about me. Bottom line: I want to be the man!” Larry summarized his playing style with two words: aggressive and physical. At a 6-3 and 235 lbs., Tumblin felt that he could easily add weight to his frame while improving on his speed. Although recruited to play linebacker, he is capable of playing defensive end. When asked about early playing time, Tumblin responded, “It would be fine with me if I could play early. If not, it will give me a year to develop. Obviously I would like to play early if possible.” Larry is diligently working to prepare for the upcoming season. He has a steady routine that consists of running and weight lifting. Tumblin hopes to emulate the aggressive play of the Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis and former New York Giant great Lawrence Taylor.