Tampa Bay picks Hazen High grad Joe Tryon in first round of NFL draft

Former UW Husky was drafted 32nd overall.

Former Hazen High School student and football player Joe Tryon was picked in the first round of the NFL Draft last week by the defending Super Bowl champions.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected the University of Washington Husky with the 32nd overall pick in the draft and the last one of the first round.

As a defensive edge rusher, Tryon played two seasons with the Huskies before opting out of the 2020 season — a season that for most Pac-12 teams was impeded and cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019, Tryon recorded 8 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss for the Huskies, earning second-team All-Pac-12 honors.

Hazen High School Coach Chris Bennett said he had the pleasure of coaching Tryon his senior year. Up until that year, he said Tryon had virtually no offers from colleges to play at the next level.

Bennett said he and the other coaches expected Tryon, with his large, now 6-foot-5-inch, 260-pound frame to be an offensive tackle for the team.

That was before Bennett saw that he ran “like a deer” with his pure athleticism.

Tryon played defensive end and tight end on offense for Hazen. Bennett said as tight end, Tyron caught 33 passes his senior year, 11 of which were touchdown receptions.

Bennett said Eastern Washington was the first school to offer Tryon a scholarship before he verbally committed to Washington State University. He said during that year, Oregon and Utah began putting in effort to recruit Tyron.

He said Utah was notably committed as they visited the high school team’s practice three different times just to watch Tryon.

Finally it was the University of Washington that convinced Tyron to flip his commitment and play for the Huskies.

Bennett said he stayed in contact with Tryon through his process as an NFL Draft prospect. He said over a period of about six months, many NFL teams contacted him to ask about Tryon and his background.

He said the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the most interested in the former Hazen player — they called multiple times.

One of the questions Bennett said he was asked by the Buccaneers was about how Tyron would react to walking into a locker room with NFL stars like Tom Brady, Ndamukong Suh, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski and Mike Evans, a situation that the former Hazen Highlander will now find himself in soon enough.

“He’ll get in there and try and be a sponge, to learn everything he can,” Bennett said.

He believes Tryon’s best football is still ahead of him.