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2023 NFL Draft prospect interview with Ohio State Safety Tanner McCalister

Over the years, I have interviewed nearly 300 players with various personalities and styles at every level of the sport — some talkative, some quiet, and others somewhere in between.

Then, every so often, you get those players who have a laser-clear vision of each step of their life and will do whatever they need to do to achieve it. Tanner McCalister from Ohio State is a man who knows what he wants and will go about it the right way to fulfill his goals.  

Take a look at the I had recently with Tanner for 

Pat Schuster: What are your official height, weight, and forty-yard dash?

: I am 5-10, 195 pounds, and I aim for 4.4 when I do my on March 22nd.  

S Tanner McCalister: Catching up with 2023 NFL Draft prospect from Ohio State 1

Pat: What made you transfer to to finish your college career after success at ?

Tanner: A couple of reasons.

First, I wanted a chance to play for a National Title, and what is a better place to go than The Ohio State University?

Add that my from Oklahoma State, Jim Knowles, was hired by Ohio State this year. It made the decision that much easier.

Pat: When did you start to like/love football?

Tanner: I started playing flag [football] at seven, mainly to hang out with my friends and keep my brother and me out of trouble. When I hit nine, I started to love the game and wanted to learn everything it took to improve.

Pat: How was the Hula Bowl ?

Tanner: I enjoyed it a lot. I met 21 different teams, so that was exciting.

I also enjoyed competing against my peers at an event like that — made it enjoyable and exhilarating.

Pat: You were a multi-year All-Big 12 Academic selection. What was the most interesting class you took during your time in college?

Tanner: I took an Entomology class (study of bugs) the one year. Just seeing bugs at that level was crazy.

Pat: Who was the best player you faced in your career?

Tanner: In my first year, I went up against Jalen Reagor from TCU (currently on the Vikings). That was an education. Besides that, it was a good battle with Parker Washington from Penn State last year. He is an excellent player.

Pat: You played all across the country. What was the best road game stadium you have played in during your career?

Tanner: (Laugh) I am a Texas boy, so DKR Texas Memorial Stadium [University of Texas]. I had my first interception in 2021 to clinch a win for us.

From the past season, I will go with playing at State College. That was a fantastic place to play how the fans get into it.

Pat: If a team wanted your best game, what film should they watch?

Tanner: It is a tie between Wisconsin (4 tackles and one pass defended) and Iowa (2 interceptions) games this year.

Pat: What sports did you play in high school?

Tanner: I did track and field too. I received my first offer to play in ninth grade, so everything revolved around improving for football once that happened.

I was huge on the University of Arkansas and Brett Bielema, but when Coach Bielema was fired, I went with my second choice, Oklahoma State, and never regretted it.

Pat: What are your feelings/experiences with ?

Tanner: You must pay your dues. I played every kind of special team role in my career and enjoyed all of it. I have no problem doing it again to secure my roster spot.

Pat: Is there any player you model your game after?

Tanner: I admire how Jimmy Ward from the Texans, Kenny Moore from the Colts, and Daxton Hill from Cincinnati play the game. They are three players whose abilities, body type, and style of play are most similar to mine in the NFL. 

Pat: What do you do when you want a break from football?

Tanner: To relax, I am a player, but my love of investing in real estate is another area of interest.

Pat: Could you please describe yourself in a few words?

Tanner: I am professional, dependable, and charismatic. I am always on time. If we are meeting at eight, I will be there at 7:30. 

Follow Tanner on Twitter as he prepares for the .

Pat Schuster
Pat Schuster
Lifelong Cowboys fan I currently live in PA with my wife and three amazing kids. In the past few years, I have interviewed close to 300 players prior to them entering the NFL. I have written for several publications, but all things always pointed back to the love of America’s team.

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