The Film Buff
Nov. 11, 2010
It's a clear, sunny day on the practice fields just north of Memorial Stadium. On one field, the defense is working opposite the scout team, getting ready for the upcoming game against Akron.
The players get set for the play, then take off toward their teammate carrying the ball, simulating their upcoming opponent. Twenty-five yards back stand the coaches, observing every detail of the play.
This is all standard for Indiana's defense during game week. What's different is that there is a 239-pound menace standing with the coaches. Crouching before the snap. Going through the motions in place. Practicing his footwork in step with his defense.
In all likelihood, he is more locked in to what is going on than his teammates who are cleared to play. That's just the way Tyler Replogle does things - whether he is starting on Saturday, out with an injury (as he is on this sunny day) or getting ready for the first practice of spring.
"He didn't practice the entire week - technically," fellow senior Jamie Lukaszewski says. "He's standing behind the defense the entire time running every single play. I saw him take a break once - he won't admit it - but I saw him take a break once, come over and get some water and then go back over stand behind there, watch every single read. He didn't miss a meeting because of his injury."
Replogle is one of those players who isn't known for his stats. Gaudy as they are - he was 12th in the Big Ten with 7.3 tackles per game in 2009 - the stats aren't what define Tyler Replogle. It is the intensity and determination with which he plays every snap that goes most noticed by his teammates, coaches and the fans.
"The guy can be your best friend in the locker room and then he can come out here five minutes later and you're his worst enemy," Lukaszewski says. "The guy is intense 24/7. It's not only when he's done playing football, but then he goes back late at night studying. The guy is always locked in on that. And then it carries over to his film study and preparation. It's a constant thing for him. It not just something he turns off and on, it's a way of life for that guy."
The intensity isn't something new for the Centerville, Ohio, native. His younger brother, Adam, has seen it for years and years.
"He doesn't like hurting people, he just plays as hard as he can every play," Adam says. "Ever since we've had football, once he gets across those white lines, it's just a switch."
That said, it's not as though Tyler simply plays on intensity alone. He is constantly studying film, trying to get better. And that doesn't just happen during business hours - Replogle is constantly looking at film, whether at home or having just finished a game.
Following last season's loss to Purdue - the last game Indiana would play until nine months later - while he was waiting to speak with members of the media, Replogle asked if he could go look at film while he was waiting. To Replogle, any free time not spent on film is a wasted minute.
"Film tells everything," Tyler says. "You could tell if you had a great game going into the film room or if you played a horrible game. In preparation it helps so much. I think if there's one area I think I've gotten better at, it's just being able to watch film and realize what other offenses are trying to do. To be honest, that's been the most helpful out of anything. More than getting bigger, faster or stronger, is just getting into the film room and knowing what they're going to run."
"I tell you what, it'd be interesting to see," Lukaszewski says of who on the team spends the most time watching film. "Look at the `HUDL' system and see who's spending more time under it: Tyler Replogle or Ben Chappell. Those guys live, eat, breathe and sleep in the film room. I know now since we've got Huddle, Tyler is at home studying, and then when he takes a break, he switches over to HUDL. He's got it open at the same time."
But knowing Replogle and his hard-nosed attitude, it is hard to imagine how he got his nickname - Peaches. Lukaszewski is quick to claim credit for that.
"He got the nickname after his freshman year, and we were both down here for the summer," Lukaszewski says. "We were buddies, but it's different when you start living with someone. He kind of always comes off as a real tough guy if you don't know him, but he's soft inside. He's a real softie. We were kind of having one of those arguments, so I said, `You're not tough, you're soft. Man, you're peaches.'
"And naturally, he just absolutely hated it. So I went into the weight room the next day and I told the strength coach, `For some reason, Tyler wants us to call him Peaches.' And so a bunch of the strength training staff heard it and it was over from there and just kept going. And then when Adam came along, I said we have peaches, and now we have `Plum.'"
Being brothers, Adam and Tyler are naturally close, but it takes a special bond to carry that over to the world of college football. The two brothers live together at school, and are as close as they've ever been.
"He was definitely the deciding factor on me coming to Indiana," Adam says. "Just in the recruiting process alone talking to him and then after the recruiting process, he helped me out with academics and stuff like that."
"I feel like the luckiest guy on campus having my brother here," Tyler says. "We live in the same apartment. Other people on the team know we're good friends, but when I tell people off the field, `You know, me and my brother who's two years younger than me have a great relationship,' they're surprised. I guess it's kind of uncommon. But, I love living with him, he's a great guy."
As close as they are, there is one moment that Tyler looks back on where he was mad at his brother on the field. Last season at Akron, Tyler picked off a pass near midfield and started toward the end zone. With just a tackle and the quarterback left to beat for a touchdown, Tyler had his brother in front of him to block. But Adam missed on both of them, and Tyler was tackled at the 25.
"He's throwing me under the bus, but you could say I cost him a touchdown," Adam says. "There was a tackle and a quarterback coming and I tried to block the tackle because I thought he was more athletic than the quarterback. The quarterback slowed him down and the tackle tackled him. I didn't help him out at all."
"It was more the tackle than the quarterback, but it took two of them," Tyler says. "I just felt like I could have had a touchdown if he had gotten in an extra block."
That's the way it is for Replogle. Incredibly close to his brother, like a brother to his teammates, but when you get between the lines everything changes.
"All the freshman come in and they see I'm pretty happy," Tyler says. "It always strikes anyone who hasn't seen me on the field when I get on the field, because off the field I'm pretty happy, always joking around and having a good time. Off the field I can just have fun and relax and be with my friends, but on the field, you've got certain goals you want to do and you have to work hard for them."
And those goals require intense participation, no matter how talented the individual is. That's why Replogle is preparing, studying, rehearsing on this sunny day on the practice fields. Even if he's not playing, it's important to get better every day.
But don't let Replogle fool you. As much as it's about getting better as an individual, it's all about helping the team.
"We got a victory so it obviously wasn't that bad," says Replogle when asked about how hard it was to sit out the Akron game. "If we can get a victory this Saturday, I'll sit out if that's what it takes. There were certain points when the offense had big plays and I really wanted to get out there and help those guys out. But, as long as we get a victory, whatever."
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