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July 29, 2011The University of Tulsa picked up its 14th football commitment in the class of 2012 on Thursday when Ponca City (Okla.) tight end Tyler Wilson gave a verbal pledge to Golden Hurricane coaches. The 6-foot-7, 240-pounder is thrilled with his decision.
"I'm extremely excited for the opportunity to play for Coach (Bill) Blankenship and the rest of the Golden Hurricane," he said.
Tulsa was the first to offer a scholarship to Wilson, but he was also receiving interest from Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas after impressive showings at their camps this summer, as well as several others.
"Bowling Green, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Kansas and some of the Ivy League schools," he explained. "Bowling Green said they were going to offer if another guy didn't commit by early August, but Tulsa was my only official offer."
When it came to the criteria on which he based his decision, there were many to list.
"Academic achievement, winning tradition, relationships with coaches, facilities, location, offensive style, and overall, it is just an extremely great fit for me," he said. "It has everything I could ever ask for in a program and an institution, and I'm extremely happy that God has provided this amazing opportunity for me."
As a junior last year, Wilson made 33 catches for approximately 400 yards and five touchdowns. He also played quarterback for two and a half games due to injuries to their starter at that position. That flexibility is one of his strengths.
"One of the biggest ones is versatility," he described. "I'm the only one on our team that plays all four receiver positions, and I also play tight end and quarterback. I can give teams a lot of different looks and cause match-up problems for defenses.
"I'm also extremely physical at the line of scrimmage, even though we don't run a whole lot. I also pride myself on being an extremely reliable receiver."
Those sentiments were echoed by his coaches. Ponca City offensive coordinator Graham Snelding gives a ringing endorsement.
"We moved Tyler from quarterback to wide receiver after a very tight battle for our starting quarterback job," said Snelding. "Tyler made a nice transition to wide receiver for us. Tyler is very coachable and has a great understanding for the game. If you didn't know any better, you would think he was a coach's kid. It is like having an extra coach on the field with him.
"We use Tyler at all of our receiving positions, trying to exploit the match-ups we get with his size. He has the ability to split out and play the one on one match-up as a single receiver or to line up at tight end and still release from the line or throw a great block."
Blocking is an area where Wilson has recently become very proficient.
"One aspect I particularly would like to point out about Tyler is his ability to block," Snelding explained. "Having always only played quarterback, he had not done a lot of blocking, but he has gotten very good at it.
"The other thing Tyler does very well is play away from the ball, running his routes hard even when he is not targeted, or finishing his blocks, or hustling down field to help on the blocking of a play away from him. This coming year we are planning to use Tyler as the focal point of our passing attack, and we are a passing team returning four of our five receivers, so that is saying a lot."
Heading into his senior season, Wilson wants to help his team to the state playoffs.
"I really want to make the playoffs this year, and I really think we have the guys to do it," he said. "For personal goals, all I really want is to be able to contribute to my team in whatever way is needed."
Wilson is commitment No. 14 for the Golden Hurricane in the class of 2012. CLICK HERE for the full commitment list.
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