March 24, 2009
Texas speedster a popular target
A combination of 4.43 speed and production on the field have garnered Lancaster, Tex. defensive back Tyler Stephenson a four-star rating from rivals.com as well as scholarship offers coming out his ears. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound cornerback is now trying to take a step back from all the attention to figure out what he is looking for in a college.
Right now Stephenson's offer list includes Houston, Colorado State, Tulsa, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Minnesota, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Utah and North Carolina. The Dallas-area corner is drawing their interest after a season that saw him score 55 tackles, two interceptions and an amazing 14 pass break-ups for a Lancaster football team that saw its season end in the second round of the Texas State Playoffs.
"On the field, I know speed plays a part and I also think I have an advantage because of my length and the ability to play man real well," said Stephenson. "A lot of coaches also tell me they like me because I am not afraid of contact."
Contact with coaches is one of the things Stephenson is balancing currently. He said he is coming up with some criteria for the college he is looking for and it contains mostly academic reasons.
"First, I look at the course the schools has - kinesiology and business management and where they rank," Stephenson said of his college choice. "Then I look at the football team and the coaches and facilities and then I look at if I would be able to run track. Then, I look at the depth chart and how many people they have at the position."
Stephenson said he has been on one visit so far - to Baylor and is continuing to try and make more Junior Days. While he would like to attend other visits, he is also running track, so his time is limited and he said email conversations are his primary way of communicating with coaches currently.
At this point in the recruiting process, Stephenson isn't willing to name a group of favorites, but said he has developed an enjoyable relationship with both Coach Jay Norvell at Tulsa as well as Coach Jason Jones of Oklahoma State. Stephenson said Colorado State is staying in contact as well through letters telling him when spring practice and the spring game begin. He said the Rams coaches were curious about whether or not he would be attending the CSU spring game this year as well.
"They (CSU) are close to the top, but I know right now, I am just doing research on all the schools when I have time," Stephenson said. "Track has me busy right now,so I am doing my research or at lunch or after practice, things like that."
Stephenson added he is enjoying the recruiting process and is a little bit flattered when it comes to the attention he receives.
"Probably right now it (the most fun thing about recruiting )is every time I get an offer," Stephenson said. "That is because it is real unexpected. I saw the guys that we had here last season sign DI offers and they told us that we could do the same."
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