TAMPA — Jason Odom and Tony Mayberry used to be Tampa Bay Buccaneer teammates. Now they both coach their sons at Jesuit High School.
Jonathan Odom is a 6-foot-5, 235-pound junior tight end. Trevor Mayberry is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior offensive lineman.
"Probably the best opportunity I could have," Trevor said. "(My dad) is a great mentor and somebody to look up to."
Both Jason and Tony took the same approach with their kids. Neither wanted them to play tackle football until they got into high school. Jonathan played baseball and basketball and some flag football. Trevor was a baseball and tennis player.
"One of the things that hurt my longevity was that I was playing tackle football at such an early age," Jason said. "It's not that I felt like it was dangerous, but playing it since I was 6 years old to 30 years old probably cut my career short. So I didn't want him playing tackle football until he got into school."
Tony said Trevor didn't have much interest in the game.
"He never played football growing up," Tony said. "He was just a little, crazy kid."
Jonathan is in his second year as the starting tight end. He has been a major weapon on offense, with 15 catches and seven touchdowns. He said he always liked to catch the ball, and because of his size he figured tight end was the perfect position.
Trevor was a defensive lineman as a freshman and he missed his sophomore year after he broke his elbow playing basketball. In the summer, he asked Jason Odom if he could switch to offensive line. He earned a spot and eventually became a starter.
Both will play a key role for the Tigers (12-1) in Friday night's Class 5A state semifinal at Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons (11-2).
When Trevor started playing on offense, Tony was talked into becoming an assistant O-line coach by his old teammate Jason.
Both players were too young to remember their dads during their NFL days. But they've heard the stories.
"All he hears is war stories," Tony said. "I tell him how good I was and he has to listen to it."
And thanks to technology, they've seen the highlights.
"I've also seen highlights of him getting beat," Jonathan said of his dad. "I'll look him up on YouTube. I'll say, 'Hey, dad, you talk about steps, what about this step right here?' "
Kidding aside, both dads want their sons to excel at the sport they played for a living. That sometimes means constructive criticism off the field.
"He's probably harder on me than anyone else," Trevor said. "We have about a 30-minute car ride home and I have to listen to him telling me about what I did wrong."
There is also some tough love on the field.
"I coach him just as hard or harder in the games," Jason said. "I think all of us who have kids on the team tend to be tougher on our own kids. Maybe that's just human nature."