Nero wraps up Defensive POY

Published 9:21 pm Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 Defensive Player of the Year Tyler Nero.

The word effort is tossed around by coaches when trying to motivate their players. For Escambia County Blue Devils senior Tyler Nero, motivation is what helped push him through the 2011 season.

Effort helped push Nero’s 6-foot-3, 285 pound frame through double teams  to create problems for opposing offenses, while racking up 73 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss and two sacks.

No matter how you look at it, Nero played at 100 percent in every game for the entire  season and his performance has earned him the 2011 Atmore Advance Defensive Player of the Year award.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Nero made the most of his senior year as he dominated opposing offensive lines and proving to be a valuable piece of his team’s defense.

Nero said winning the honor means a lot because he has never won an award like that before.

“Earning this another for a second time really means a lot to me,” he said. “It tells me how far I’ve come since my freshman year. It’s a great feeling.”

Despite not making the playoffs, Nero made his presence known and even played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game.

Even with the season ending earlier than hoped, Nero said his senior season was one he will look back on.

“I think my senior season went better than I expected it to go,” he said. “I think even though we didn’t make the playoffs, I became a better player. I gave my all and was able to play in an All-Star game, which was another great honor.”

With his high school career over, awards and tackles will go with Nero as he prepares to move on to college.

Along with the recognition, the things he learned from head coach Mark Heaton and his other coaches will stick with him, he said.

“Don’t give up,” he said. “They were always telling me and my teammates to keep fighting, so I know that I learned to always keep pushing from my coaches.”

Nero has verbally committed to play for the Auburn Tigers when he graduates in May.

The improvements he has made he said he hopes help him once he moves to the next level of his athletic career.

“Off of the field, I really pushed myself to become work harder in the weight room, so I could improve on my talents as a player,” he said. “When I was on  the field, I just worked to give everything I have on every play.