February 17, 2011
Tyler Combs commits to Marshall University
HerdNation got to catch up with the gargantuan human being they like to call "Big Country" in Lawrence County, Tyler Combs. We discussed his early commitment to Marshall University, what he feels like he needs to improve on, among many other topics.
Below is the interview.
Interview with Lawrence County Offensive Lineman Tyler Combs
HerdNation: First off Tyler, talk about what made you decide to commit to Marshall University so early.
Tyler Combs: "Like I said, just the recruiting classes he (Doc Holliday) has coming in there. They're going to be good for years to come. They're coaching staff, I believe, is top of the line. Coach Legg--their offensive line coach, he's coached at numerous Division I-A colleges and I think he even spent some time in the NFL--a couple of years there. It's close to home, for one. I just feel like it's a good fit for me and my family."
HerdNation: Tyler, talk about your relationship with your lead recruiter for Marshall, Coach Ratliff.
Tyler Combs: "Well Coach Ratliff, I've grown up with a lot of his family. His brother is from Lawrence County. He's from Lawrence County. That helped a lot in my recruiting process, just knowing that I'll always have somebody that I can come and talk to. I'm just going to always talk to him no matter what, just whatever problems that I have or troubles that I have. That was a big factor when I made my decision--just knowing that I'll always have someone there that I can come talk to."
HerdNation: Tyler what do you think is the biggest thing you're trying to improve on in your game next season?
Tyler Combs: "We lost a lot of players this year--they graduated so we don't have that many coming back. I think really the biggest thing I'm going to try to improve on is being a leader to my teammates and just try and motivate and help them through any problems that they have. In high school football, everything isn't gonna always work out. You've got so many different kids from so many different backgrounds learning to play as a team. I think we need to gel as a team. I really just think I need to have a big part in that."
HerdNation: What's been the most memorable moment thus far in your high school football career, Tyler?
Tyler Combs: "Most memorable moment--probably me making all-state this year. I made first team all-state as a junior. I felt that was a pretty big accomplishment. Two other people from this area were on it with me. I just feel like that's a big accomplishment."
HerdNation: Who's your favorite football player of all-time Tyler?
Tyler Combs: "My favorite football player of all-time--probably Michael Oher.
HerdNation: Why Michael Oher?
Tyler Combs: "Just the background that he came from and just what he had to go through to be able to accomplish the things that he did. I really tip my hat at him because of all the stuff that he's had to go through and had to perservere."
HerdNation: Tyler I know you got the nickname, "Big Country." Tell me a little bit about how you got that nickname.
Tyler Combs: "My first year playing football in 3rd grade--my 3rd grade coach gave it to me. He said that used to be his nickname and I reminded him alot of himself when he was that age. That just kind of stuck with me through high school."
HerdNation: How are your grades in the classroom, Tyler?
Tyler Combs: "My grades--I think I ended up with a 3.8 (GPA) last year. So, yeah, pretty good. Not too bad."
HerdNation also got to catch up with Tyler's former head coach at Lawrence County, Luke Salmons.
Below is the interview.
Interview with former Lawrence County Head Coach Luke Salmons
HerdNation: First off Coach Salmons, talk about what type of player Marshall fans are getting in Tyler Combs.
Coach Salmons: "Great kid. Great student. Leader. Leader of the school. There's a lot of upside in my opinion. Team first kid. He's the type of kid who got first-team all-state as a junior in all six classes in Kentucky and didn't even tell his parents. He doesn't think it's important. He's all about team and you hear that a lot. That's all he cares about are the guys he has. He's been raised very good--great parents. Really good player. He's always been a big kid. Growing up they always had to carry a birth certificate everywhere they went because (people) didn't believe how old he was. He's still young in a lot of ways--maturing. He's a good player--played offense and defense for us last year. He's started since he was a freshman--he started every game in high school. Very smart, physical, really tough, and he plays hard. So they're getting a player who's gonna work hard and be a big part of their program, I believe. He's a tough kid. He's kind of everything you would want in an offensive lineman--team first guy like I said, tough, physical, can run. He's about 275, 280 (pounds) but he's not fat he's just a big kid. If you look at him he's very big--loves the game of football. All he wants to do is play football. He wanted to go to Marshall. I've known him since 7th grade and always worked with him--trained him and stuff like that. Marshall is close. He wanted to go to a school that was football first, he felt. I feel like he's gonna get more offers but at the same time he's very committed to Marshall. Like I said he wanted to go tell them (coaches) because that's what kind of person he is. He's not going to change his mind because he's a team guy. He felt like they've got good coaches and good players. They're building the program right and he wants to be a part of that. He's real excited and the family is excited so it's just a good thing overall for everybody."
HerdNation: What do you think is the biggest thing you think that Tyler needs to improve on?
Coach Salmons: "I think strength. Like I said, he's still growing. He's still young looking. He looks like a college player now as far as his size and stuff like that. He's still developing and he's still getting stronger. He can carry 30, 40 pounds easy. I think he needs 20-30 pounds of strength. I think that any high school kid that plays offensive line, most all of them are at that point. That's what college weight rooms are for. That's kind of where he's at with everything to play on that level. I think that he has that ability--that drive and ambition--he'll conquer that. I think Marshall is getting a steal because I think that he's just kind of coming about. His recruiter (Coach Ratliff) comes to some of the games and in some of the games they watched him--they thought he was really good as a junior. He said Marshall--it would be great if he could go there. He felt like a lot of schools would pursue him. They have been. Illinois talked with him last night--talked for a long time. UK has been by a bunch, Louisville. A lot of schools are very interested but he doesn't want to go through that process. He said, 'I just feel like it's different for everybody.' For him--he's excited to go there."
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