Yet another exciting, young football player is headed for East Lansing in 2013. But Dylan Chmura, son of NFL star Mark Chmura, is not just another prospect with a lot of potential. An outstanding playmaker at tight end, 2013 MSU recruit Dylan Chmura is the full package: a growing football player, a smart student and a young man with great character.
Dylan grew up under the shadow of his famous father. Mark Chmura played seven seasons at tight end for the Packers, helping Green Bay to two Super Bowl appearances and one championship. But now Dylan is beginning to establish his own legacy, forging a great career at Waukesha West High School in Wisconsin and committing to play for the Spartans. Recently on Spartan Nation Radio, Hondo Carpenter, Sr. interviewed Dylan, discussing a wide range of topics, from Dylanâ€™s preparations for Spartan football to the experience of having his father as a coach and of course what the Spartans loss of Dion Sims to the NFL draft means to him.
The decisions of MSU juniors Leâ€™Veon Bell, Will Gholston and Dion Sims to leave for the NFL will all have an impact on MSU football. But as Hondo wrote in his January 3rd column, â€œAnswering Your Michigan State Football Emails and Questions,â€ Bellâ€™s departure is the most significant. â€œBell is the heartbreak killer. That one is the crushing blow.â€ Dylan also commented about Bell leaving for the NFL: â€œHeâ€™s a great player and I know heâ€™s going to do great things at the next level. To be honest, I was kind of surprised: I didnâ€™t think that he was going to forgo his senior season,â€ Chmura said. â€œBut the best of luck to him: heâ€™s going to do great things at the next level.â€
The Spartan whose exit will have the most impact on Dylan is tight end Dion Sims. With Sims gone, Chmura now will have a chance to compete for playing time behind freshmen Evan Jones and Josiah Price. Though Dylan has great respect for Sims, Chmura was â€œpretty excited to know that now thereâ€™s a great opportunity in front of me where I can come in and I can attempt to get on the field right away.â€ After the recent news, the incoming freshman canâ€™t wait to begin his Michigan State career. â€œIâ€™m ready to get out there and start trying to make my markâ€¦ in East Lansing.â€
Getting ready to compete at the college level has not been a journey without obstacles for Dylan. After tearing his ACL in March of 2011, Chmura missed his junior season, but he worked hard to rehab the injury. At the 2012 MSU summer football camp, Dylan impressed the coaches so much that they offered him a scholarship on the spot. Now, after an impressive senior year in which Chmura racked up 21 receptions for 397 catches (18.9 yards per catch) and five touchdowns, Dylan is focused on staying in shape. â€œI feel great, just reached 235 on the scale, Iâ€™m getting my weight up and Iâ€™m feeling good.â€ Especially with Sims out of the picture in 2013, Chmura is working even harder to be a part of the Spartansâ€™ gameplan at tight end next season. â€œMy intensity of my workouts has always been pretty good. Thatâ€™s what a lot of people said they like about me. Now, knowing that Dionâ€™s leaving, Iâ€™ve taken another step and [Iâ€™m] trying to be more intense and make the most of every day,â€ Dylan said. â€œAs far as my diet goes, I try to eat as good as I can, but Iâ€™m trying to pile on the calories right now so that I can continue to gain good weight and keep getting stronger.â€
Improving his blocking skills has been a major part of Dylanâ€™s preparation for moving up to the next level. Known for his playmaking more than his blocking, Chmura knew blocking needed to be his focus during his senior year. â€œI feel that it was something I needed to key up more on this year because I feel like my most college-ready thing is my route running and my ability to get open. But you can always improve on that and you can always improve on blocking,â€ Chmura explained. â€œI thought that my route running was a little better than my blocking, so I tried to balance it out as best I could.â€
One of Dylanâ€™s major goals in life is to the promised land for young football players: the NFL. â€œEver since my dad played, Iâ€™ve always tried to get to that level, to be able to be considered on a level with him. I think Iâ€™m on the right path,â€ Dylan explained. But the young man has his priorities in line, and knows what is truly important. â€œIn my life, itâ€™s all about: â€˜Be as smart as you can in the classroom, be as nice of a person as you can be outside of the classroom, and then use your talent out on the football field.â€™ God has given us all a talent, and I believe Iâ€™m using mine the right way.â€
The elder Chmura has certainly helped Dylan with his quest to become an NFLer. Mark serves as the tight ends coach for Dylanâ€™s high school football team, the Waukesha West Wolverines. The former Packers tight end brings an obvious advantage to the film room, teaching his son many important lessons. â€œNot a lot of people get the opportunity to have that resource,â€ Dylan said. â€œWatching film, Iâ€™ll be looking at one thing and then heâ€™ll mention something he sees while heâ€™s watching a play. Heâ€™s taught me how to be able to see the entire field and being able to adapt on the fly when it comes to route running or blocking or whatever it may be.â€
Mark Chmuraâ€™s impact on Dylan has not been limited to the football field. As Dylan said, he has been raised by two parents who know what matters in life. â€œMy dad, obviously when he played, was a big person in giving back to others who are less fortunate. And my mom, in the past five or six years, has travelled to Milwaukee to the less fortunate areas and sheâ€™s handed out food and [done] everything that she can do to help someone else in need.â€
The future is bright for Dylan Chmura, a hard-working player who figures to be part of the picture at tight end immediately for MSU. A playmaker on the field and in the classroom, Chmura has the potential to be a solid contributor for the Spartans over the course of his collegiate career. One encouraging sign is a maturity beyond his years. Already Dylan recognizes that athletes should not just be players of a sport. â€œI feel like a very important part of being an athlete is giving back to your community in any way that you can, showing that itâ€™s not just about football but itâ€™s about other people too.â€