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July 21, 2004
A couple of months after earning a scholarship to play football at The University of Texas, Austin (Texas) Anderson offensive lineman Charlie Tanner has figured out the best way to pass the dog days of summer until the start of two-a-days.
He's hanging out by the pool.
"I'm life guarding this summer at Northwest Park," Tanner said. "Other than that, I'm just getting ready for the season. I can't wait."
While the sight of Tanner enforcing the "no horse-play" rules in the pool is probably intimidating to 10-year olds across the city of Austin, Tanner is hoping to not only intimidate his opponents this season, but he's looking forward to dominating them.
"I've been lifting weights all summer and I feel great," Tanner said. "I can definitely tell the difference. Last year, I played my junior season at 240 pounds, but I've put on a lot of weight and I'm currently 6-4, 275 pounds. We're going to be in a new district this season and it's going to be fun to have some new meat."
Tanner's physical growth is one of the major reasons why he's gone from relative obscurity this spring to being regarded as one of the nation's elite offensive line prospects. An inspection of his physical attributes is almost scary.
Back in May, Tanner exploded onto the national scene when he posted the single-best testing effort of any offensive lineman in the nation at the Nike Training Camp in College Station. While checking in at 6-foot-3 1/2 and 268 pounds, Tanner posted a 5.03 40-yard dash, a 33-inch vertical leap, lifted 27 reps of 185 pounds on the bench press and was timed at an amazing 4.12 in the short shuttle.
Among the offensive linemen at the camp, those marks ranked second, first, fifth and first, respectively.
Perhaps the most amazing number was his time in the shuttle. To put it in perspective, former Texas Longhorn All-American Roy Williams posted a 3.97 shuttle time at his pro testing day earlier this spring. Tanner's time was only .15 behind the greatest receiver in the history of the Longhorn program and it actually ranked better than those that were posted in pre-draft workouts by Larry Fitzgerald (4.27), Reggie Williams (4.34) and Michael Jenkins (4.31).
Among his own peer group, Tanner was .47 faster than the next lineman at the event (Southlake Carroll's Mitch Enright posted a 4.59).
The remarkable showing by Tanner led to a flurry of offers from Division I schools over the course of the next 48 hours. In fact, Tanner received almost a dozen offers before he returned to school the following Monday.
Of course, the big biggest offer of all came just a few days later when Texas offensive line coach Mac McWhorter came by the school and officially extended Tanner the scholarship offer he'd been waiting for.
Just like that, Tanner was off the board before most colleges could even get in the game. For a kid that prefers the low-profile that he'd enjoyed before the Nike Camp, Tanner was glad to end the recruiting process when he did.
"Everyone is real excited about me heading to Texas," Tanner said. "I was ready for it to end. I wanted to have a decision before I started my senior season and it worked out great. Now I can focus on football."
For those that want to get an up-close look at Tanner this season, you'll get your chance on August 27 when the Trojans face off with cross-town rival Austin McCallum at House Park.
Of course, you can always just head over to the pool if you want to see Tanner in action.
Just remember, no horse-play is allowed.
Editor's Note: To see Tanner's prospect video, click here.