All of them will see plenty of play in rotation. At the US Army All American Bowl the athletes are played in Units or groups and there are no true starters. We expect all of our boys to make a major impact on this game and have written about all of them at length.
In regard to Thomas Tyner, the phenom Running Back from Aloha High School, we have to pay special mention. The 6’0″ – 218 pound Running Back is widely regarded by all of the analysts in San Antonio as the top back of the bunch. The West squad is loaded with 4 Running backs that are expected to move on and be impact players.
As the week has gone on however we noted that Tyner’s stats were widely being quoted as being about 2400 yards for the 2012 season. And we were not going to let our guy go without his due.
Tyner actually finished the 2012 season with 3,415 yards and 45 TD’s on the ground. That was tracked daily here in Oregon as it is the All Time single season rushing record. In total this record is 700 yards more then the Washington State record and one of the best all time in the US.
The stats were corrected today finally so realize this young man is the most prolific running back that will step onto the field today in an All American jersey. He is going to be wearing #4 today according to his Mom, Donna, who checked in with us this AM. Thomas will enter the game in the Second Series and carry that Warrior pride with him.
This young man has speed beyond speed and the fastest linebacker in the game was complaining that “he has like 4.2 speed or something”. We hope he gets a chance to show that off on the field. But it matters not. Because this game is icing on the cake for the future Duck who put his stamp on the game of football forever at the High School level.
No one will forget his 644 yard single game rushing record and 10 Touchdowns that came early in the 2012 season. That was the 3rd most yards ever rushed for in the 150 plus year history of the game of football.
Those of us at the Oregon Track Championships in 2011 remember his 10.35 100 Meters sending him forever into the record books here and abroad as one of the fastest young men in the USA.
And if you were ever lucky enough to watch him live and hang around after the game you got a glimpse of the best things about this humble young man. His ability to spend time with the young kids and fans who wanted to say hello, grab an autograph and picture, and shake his hand. In 2012 he spent at least 30 minutes after every game with the crowd which grew and grew throughout the year.
And his smile. Oh that smile. That is a view though a window into the soul of a young man of faith, confidence, and compassion. For us that is Thomas Tyner. Not record books, football, or track.
For Duck fans your loosing Chip but your getting something better in return. Tyner has been a Duck since 2010 and Chip was not the reason he is heading to Eugene and he never was. He simply loves the school, the town, and the people. At a time that Oregon finds itself in a crisis and at a crossroads the program is getting another Blue Chip kid.
One who can be a powerful bridge to the future beyond the rainbow and Chip Kelly’s Pot of Gold.
“Chip is Chip. Oregon is who I am going to play for,” said Thomas when we asked him this season if Chip leaving or potential sanctions or NCAA penalties would phase him. "Nothing will change my mind."
He does not care of Chip is there or not and it is pretty clear he never did. As important as Kelly was to the recent success of the team he has very little to do with their popularity or draw for kids. That would be more to do with Mike Bellotti and on Phil Knight and that wonderful swoosh.
And it has to do with Family. Because John and Donna Tyner and their two boys Michael and Thomas are pretty darn tight. So is Thomas and his “Warrior Nation” team mates and family. That’s just how they roll.
So staying close to home and the Family was a big consideration too. The fact that they are all Duck fans does not hurt.
So today we celebrate all these kids. Even more so with our NW home-grown studs. Thomas Tyner is a very special one of them.
Good luck today kid.
Here is a terrific Video by our staff of Thomas Tyner breaking the Oregon State Record in his last High School game in 2012.