Never Quit Tryon: UW Defender Brings Relentless Pass Rush, Plenty of Swagger

Dan Raley

Joe Tryon turned into a human avalanche moving up the ranks as a Washington football player, taking advantage of every opportunity afforded him as an edge rusher. At each stage of his career, everything has multiplied. 

He initially committed to Washington State while at Hazen High School in suburban Renton, Washington, because it was his only major college offer. 

As his body began to fill out and turn him into the 6-foot-5, 262-pound behemoth he is now, the Huskies took notice and coerced him away.

Entering 2018, Tryon was a redshirt freshman reserve who kept getting sent on to the field until the UW decided it was best to keep him out there. The Huskies made him a starter late in the season as this hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end.

This past year, as his tackles for loss and sacks piled up at an urgent rate, Tryon had the full attention of the rest of the Pac-12, which designated him as a second-team, all-conference performer. 

All the Huskies had to do was get him in a stance and turn him loose.

"When he got his opportunity, he made plays, so he got more opportunities," UW co-defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said. "The more opportunities he got, the more plays he made. That's how it works."

This is another in a series of profiles on prospective UW football starters. While spring practice has been canceled because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Husky Maven/Sports Illustrated provides uninterrupted coverage. 

The next step for Tryon with his huge, mobile frame is to use his junior season to show the rest of college football what he's all about.

For starters, he comes across as an absolute warrior. In a 19-7 victory over Oregon State last season, he made that clear after terrorizing the Beavers' backfield for 4.5 tackles for loss, including a pair of sacks.

Tyron was part of a stubborn defense that held Oregon State to seven 3-and-out possessions, a total-lockdown performance. For this Friday night dominance, he was named the Pac-12's Defensive Lineman of the Week.

"It was just hit 'em in the mouth, you know," he said. "They didn't want it."

Tyron does. 

He takes the field with this attitude and tries to show it on every play.

Tryon relies on his considerable football gifts, moving around instinctively. This approach works for him.  

"You just go out there and you know you can dominate and be ready to make plays," he said. "I know that me and the other dudes are trying to get to the quarterback. That's our main objective."

Tryon enters his third UW football season poised to take another step forward, ready to become better known nationwide, set to explode. 

Just like before, he's intends to swim through blockers and been an even bigger disruption.

"I feel the game is coming to me," Tryon said. "It feels good to be out there with my brothers just smacking people."

SUMMARY: When no one was looking, this guy grew into his body and became an exceptional football player. Now everyone's looking.

GRADE (1 to 5): Tryon rates a 4, with the ability to take it up a notch. If it's anything like hitting a quarterback, he shouldn't have any trouble getting there.  

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