Q&A with former CSU Ram, current Denver Bronco DE Lanston Tanyi

Lanston Tanyi (91), right, celebrating with former teammate Bernard Blake (23). Photo: Dan Byers, CSU athletics.
Lanston Tanyi (91), right, celebrating with former teammate Bernard Blake (23).
Photo: Dan Byers, CSU athletics.

Quentin Sickafoose: What has life been like after leaving the CSU football program?

Lanston Tanyi: It’s been a lot of hard work, I’ve been trying to get acclimated and knowledgeable so I can actually have my head above water. I did get an opportunity to play in the NFL, so it’s learning about the financial part, how it feels and that level of not stardom, but kind of (being) put on a pedestal. Everybody has a microscope on you and what you’re doing.

QS: What is the difference like going from playing at the collegiate level to the NFL and working out with professional teams?

LT: I think it was realizing when (in) college, it’s for the scholarship. You have to do this, you have to do that, to going to you can do whatever. It’s up to you in your decision to determine how far you actually go. It’s not like you signed a scholarship so you’re going to be here, you’re trying to get your foot in the door. The biggest thing was realizing it’s a business, they could find somebody after you who works harder than you. You have to stay on top of your game.

QS: Describe the transition going from having people keeping tabs on you to being on your own.

LT: I was always the guy to work harder. Even in college I was the guy doing the things they didn’t ask me, but did anyway because I wanted to and wanted to get better. I knew those things would give me an opportunity.

QS: Was it a little bit ironic for you to come to Colorado to play your last year of collegiate football and then get signed with the Broncos?

LT: It really is. Choosing (Colorado State) made me successful, and I felt like I made a good decision to come out here. Moving to Colorado is coming full circle, coming to Denver.

QS: Do you think it almost seems like fate?

LT: I actually really do. I know (Denver Broncos defensive coordinator) Jack Del Rio being here let him watch the games out here from Colorado State and Colorado (University), I’m sure. I guess they knew what type of player I was, and what type of program I was from.

QS: Have you had the chance to meet the guys you’ll be training with?

LT: Yeah, all of the veterans came in today so I had the chance to meet a lot of guys, which was cool. We worked out, nothing too hard, but got acclimated working with our position coaches. This was our off week pretty much, and next week we go back at it.

QS: What’s it like practicing with guys (who) you were watching on TV last year?

LT: The goal is to be professional, but at the same time when you’ve seen these guys growing up I’m kind of surprised I’m still in the locker room with them. It’s cool going to be able to say “I’ve played with this guy,” that’s surreal to me. I try to stay focused knowing we all have a common goal. It’s not like I’m a fan anymore, I’m actually part of what they’re trying to do. You have to keep those things in mind but it is really a cool opportunity and experience.

QS: Has it all set in to you yet?

LT: I’d like to say so. I had my time to thank my family and friends, but also know that season is just right around the corner. So I’m just thinking, thinking real fast, but I’m moving forward. I’m here where I wanted to be trying to make the roster for the team.

QS: Most guys fortunate enough to get to the NFL out of college can end up anywhere. Tell me what it’s like to be on one of the teams that has a shot at winning a championship your first year.

LT: That’s a blessing, before the draft and all that I just prayed to God to get an opportunity to be in the best position I possibly could be, that was my only prayer here. I have an opportunity now to be not only with a team, but one that has so much potential to win the Super Bowl at the end and be part of a winning tradition. I just feel so blessed with the way it worked out.

QS: Anything you’d like to say to McElwain and the Rams?

LT: I just want you to let them all know I’m proud at how hard they work. I keep up with everybody and know they have the potential to do well. I felt like me being there gave guys motivation to see what it takes, and a chance to see how far hard work can take you. I’m excited to see what they do, I’m definitely keeping up on them.

QS: I know you’re a Bronco now, but are you still a Ram fan at heart?

LT: Oh yeah, I’m a Ram fan. I fully bought into what coach McElwain was trying to do with turning the program around. I’m excited for it to take off and see what it’s going to be.

Sports Editor Quentin Sickafoose can be reached at sports@collegian.com.