Continuing on with our ongoing AAF Player Spotlight interview series. We are being joined by former BYU Cougars tight end, Tanner Balderree.
Justin David Kish: Thank you so much for you’re time Tanner. How are things going for you today?
Tanner Balderree: Great! Keeping busy by training hard every day and getting ready for my little girl who is due to come in November. Couldn’t ask for a better life.
Justin David Kish: You are the newest signee of the Salt Lake Stallions. Tell us about your journey that led to you being signed by the Stallions?
Tanner Balderree: Its been a bit of an underdog one. I had a poor senior year due to a combo in injuries that weren’t addressed and offensive philosophy which put me at a huge disadvantage. I embraced the grind which resulted in a phenomenal pro day and believe that got me opportunities both in the NFL and now with the Stallions.
Justin David Kish: You are a former product of BYU. Tell us about your time at BYU and what did you learn during you’re time there?
Tanner Balderree: I loved the family of teammates I found at BYU. they are brothers to me. Beyond that I had an interesting time, I was recruited originally as a DE/LB but made the switch to offense my sophomore year to fill a role for the team. I made the most of it and got to where I am now. BYU taught me a lot about staying humble and that nothing is given to you. You are always required to earn it. Both Coach Bronco Mendenhall and Kalani Sitake taught that but in their own unique way.
Justin David Kish: During you’re time at BYU, Ty Detmer was your offensive coordinator how has Coach Detmer improved you as a player and what traits do you bring over to the Stallions under his teachings.
Tanner Balderree: He obviously has a great knowledge of how a pro style offense should be run, being that he was in the NFL for about a decade. I was able to learn a lot about a balanced offense system, the importance of establishing the run game, and improving my game by doing the little things that no one in the stands will notice.
Justin David Kish: You are now joining the Salt Lake Stallions who is head coached by former Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Dennis Erickson. Earlier this week, the Stallions signed on Tim Lappano as their offensive coordinator. What do you know about both coaches and how do you feel about the transition to a new offense?
Tanner Balderree: I know a fair bit about Coach Erickson, he’s somewhat of a football legend. I’m very excited to see his leadership as we build a new team. I heard about Coach Lappano and know he has lots of years of coaching under his belt and some history with Coach Erickson, but don’t know much yet about his style of offense. I am a dynamic player who can fill multiple roles and am excited to see where I can contribute the most to his schemes.
Justin David Kish: You are joining a Stallions tight end core that features Anthony Denham, Nick Truesdell, and Steve Wroblenski. How do you stand out from the rest?
Tanner Balderree: I think my physicality is a bit unique because of my strong defensive background. I love to hit and blocking is a strong suit for me. that physicality can also set up the pass too, and I’m continually learning how to be more of a threat with it.
Justin David Kish: The Stallions amassed a solid team around them featuring former Saints quarterback Garrett Grayson, Tommy Armstrong Jr., and Matt Asiata. Have you spoken to any of your teammates and if so what about?
Tanner Balderree: Only the ones who played at BYU so far. But we have the makings of a great team and when you get guys from this region of the country, who are tough, gritty and strong dudes and also have insane athleticism, we will be a force to be reckoned with.
Justin David Kish: How are you currently staying football shape right before training camp? Who are you training with?
Tanner Balderree: I work every single day of the week and most Saturdays doing some type of training, from weightlifting, plyometrics, speed, and route running, to mental work while I train. my body is what got me to where I am and I’m going to continue to push my athletic abilities to become even better. I am getting worked over every day by Cade Cowdin at Official Strength in St. George, UT.
Justin David Kish: What are we to expect from Tanner Balderree in 2019 and beyond?
Tanner Balderree: Whatever I am asked to do I’m going to be the best there is at it. That’s always my mentality.
Justin David Kish: Thank you so much for you’re time Tanner. Is there anything you would like to add?
Tanner Balderree: Just that I am stoked to be a part of something special like the creation of a new football team and play for a city like Salt Lake, which deserves more sports teams. Being on this team is a badge of honor for me and ill earn it every day. Thanks for allowing me to do this interview.