“I’m way more comfortable,” Gardner said. “Last year was my first year starting, and it was rough, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of adversity. A lot of adversity I fought through, and I feel like I did a really good job of never giving up, never giving up on myself and my teammates. I feel my teammates recognized that, and my coaches recognized that, and I feel like that will help me.”
Beaverton (OR) Aloha running back Thomas Tyner is one of the top overall prospects in the class of 2013, earning a five-star rating from 247Sports, four stars from Scout, and ESPN150 Watch List honors. Tyner already holds scholarship offers from Oregon, Oregon State, and USC, and has interest from Alabama, Stanford, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and, yes, Michigan.
In just four games this season, he has already amassed 700 rushing yards on 85 carries, and in his high school career he has 2.934 yards on 333 rushes and was the 2010 Class 6A Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore. Tyner suffered a concussion that has held him out of Aloha's last two games, but he was kind enough to do an interview via Twitter (due to his injury, a phone interview was not an option). Tyner wanted me to make sure to shout out all his Michigan followers, and you can find him on Twitter @Thomas_Tyner. Here's my discussion with Thomas:
ACE: What teams have you been in contact with so far?
THOMAS: So far my mailbox has been getting loaded with letters, along with my football locker. I just recently received a offer from USC. A lot of the schools that have been sending me letters are questionnaires.
ACE: How much has Michigan been contacting you? (Any specific coaches?) Also, will distance be a factor in your recruitment?
THOMAS: During the school year one of the coaches came to school and we chatted. I forgot the name, but I am a family man. Michigan is a fantastic school though, so if the school has high enough ratings in athletics and academics, then it's a definite possibility.
ACE: Anything else specific that you're looking for in a possible school? Also, any idea when you'd want to narrow down leaders or make a choice?
THOMAS: A comfortable environment, and [a] comfortable and strong relationship with the coaches. I'll start making my top list next year (senior year).
ACE: How's your season going, what are your goals for the year, and how would you describe your game (strengths/weaknesses)?
THOMAS: My season's going well. I've been out 2 weeks due to a concussion. My strengths are delivering a hit and break away speed. My weakness, or something I could get better at is patience.
Thanks again to Thomas for taking the time for the interview, especially while recovering from his concussion. As evidenced by his ratings, he's definitely a big-time prospect to watch, and should draw major interest from the Wolverines.
If I'm not mistaken, this is the kid who could possibly be an olympic sprinter. I would absolutely love to have him. I wish our coach who went to see him made a bigger impression so Tyner would remember his name. Thanks for the interview Ace.
He will be difficult to pry away from Oregon...WOTS here in Oregon is that Oregon is the heavy favorite...although he'd be a great back for M...reminds me a lot of Tyrone Wheatley in that he has good size and incredible speed for that size
his HS coach is the brother of the Oregon State baseball team's head coach, so the Beavers might be a contender too....Michigan is quite far away from Oregon and it does not sound like he wants to go too far away....although I'd love to see him go blue...but I can't see him leaving the state.
I wouldn't read into the family man comment as much. He could be commenting on the family environment a bunch of recruits have to mentioned with Michigan. I also could be a shameless homer looking for reason he'll come here
Having lived in Oregon the last two years, I can tell you Tyner is L-E-G-I-T. I was amazed at his size at the state track and field championships. He seems to be getting bigger and faster at the same time, which, wow. So I was stoked to see the Introducing entry and that Michigan is at least testing the waters with him. That said, I would guess he's a longshot to go Blue. He seems likely to continue pursuing track and field, which would give Oregon (although not known per se as a sprinter school) a big edge in addition to their home-state advantage.
I went to one of his games 3 weeks ago and unfortunately Aloha had a bad case fo the 4th quarter fumbles. He had one play where he showed speed but he couldn't get outside a pretty good defense. He had 16 total yards on 13 carries with one 3 yard TD run. Tyner's team lost 51-27.
I still think he is a great prospect just a bad game for his team (note he has a BYU commited OL prospect Brayden Kearsley plowing holes for him. He looked good.)
There was LB on the other team Daniel Halverson who looked pretty D-1 worthy...but that's a different story. The QB for the other team (Ndamukong Suh's HS) also had a good game. He is commited to Portland State.