Recruiting & Scouting

Jeremiah Tyler turns down scholarship offers from Division I schools, will attend Princeton and play football for the Tigers

Football   | Tom Markowski

Jeremiah Tyler turns down scholarship offers from Division I schools, will attend Princeton and play football for the Tigers

Beverly Hills – Jeremiah Tyler of Detroit Country Day got a late start in the recruiting process but now he’s at the head of the class.

Tyler is a 6-2, 207-pound defensive end-fullback who helped Country Day reached the Division 4 semifinals last November. He also started both ways as a junior but it wasn’t until last summer that he started to draw interest from college scouts.

Whereas many top recruits impress scouts by attending summer camps, Tyler was camp-free until this past summer. Because of this his talents went all but unnoticed except for those who watched him on Friday nights or Saturday afternoons during the fall.

Both he and his father, Gerald Tyler, were naïve about the process. That is until Tyler’s coaches and acquaintances of his father suggested that Tyler make a few visits to summer camps to get the word out. Tyler went to nearby Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois, then south to Florida State and Louisiana State to participate and find out how well he stacked up against some of the best.

Central Michigan and Western Michigan quickly offered Tyler a scholarship. Coaches from Ball State, Dayton and Eastern also showed great interest. Tyler even considered applying to the Air Force Academy and Army.

After the second game of the season coaches from Ivy League schools like Cornell and Princeton made inquiries. This shocked Tyler. Until that time he never thought of attending an Ivy League school. Why would he? No one in his family attended an Ivy League school so why should he?

Now the process took on a more serious tone. The prospect of playing at a Division I school like Central or Western had its lure. If Tyler went to Mount Pleasant or Kalamazoo he could be a part of a successful Mid-American Conference program, have half the games televised nationally and participate in a holiday bowl game or two.

Throughout the season Tyler kept weighing his options. On the one hand he could sign a letter-of-intent with a MAC school, get his education for free, go to a school close to his home in Metro Detroit and receive some television exposure or choose to go to the east coast, attend one of the top academic institutions in the country and play football for a program that won’t go to a bowl game or receive little, if any, national attention.

The more Tyler considered his choices the more he thought of his future.

Like many athletes who have the opportunity to compete at the Division I level, Tyler has aspirations of playing in the NFL. Why not? Dream big.

But there’s always the possibility that football not only won’t last but it might not work out at all. The risk of injury is always great. And perhaps he’s not good enough. What then?

Gradually Tyler’s thoughts gained clarity. No matter what happened on the football field the educational part of college would remain constant.

“The realization was that there is life after football,” he said. “The NFL will find you wherever you play, if I’m good enough.”

Late last week Tyler made his decision. He would attend Princeton.

He said the opportunity was just too good to pass up. Ivy League schools aren’t for everybody. The school work demands so much of a person’s time.

Tyler, who has a 3.3 grade-point average, will have to work harder than he’s ever had but he said looks forward to the challenge. Tyler said he plans on majoring in sports law and pursue a career as a sports agent.

But for now he’ll continue his studies at Country Day, participate in a school play, lift weights and continue his workouts for the upcoming baseball season. This will be his fourth year playing baseball.

Enjoy your senior year, Jeremiah. Your life will soon become a bit more complicated.