Bearcat Insider introduced UC football fans to Tyler Epstein last spring when he visited Clifton for a Junior Day, but I want Bearcat football fans to understand what type of quality kid this is. This is the type kid you want in your fox hole, and you'd love to see your daughter bring home to meet the family. This is the type kid you want representing your school, but he's still looking for a believer.
He's a "yes sir" type kid off the field and a no nonsense kid on it. As a sophomore linebacker at Farmington High School (Class 4-second largest group) in Missouri, Tyler made the varsity squad and broke his hand early in the season, but broken bones don't stop kids like Epstein. The trainer wrapped his hand like a club, and Tyler went on to record 120 tackles that year. As a junior, Tyler proved almost unblockable in making 144 tackles with 120 being solos.
This 6 foot 2 inch 225 pound linebacker is a quality student/athlete with a 3.0+ GPA in his core classes and membership in the National Honor Society. He was also selected by his teachers as a representative to prestigious Boys State but declined the offer to attend college football camps and attend every summer weightlifting session. He finished 4th in the 185 pound state wresting championships last season and was a captain of his football squad despite being only a junior. Last year he was the only junior in Missouri to be voted all-state in football. What's not to like about this kid?
Despite the gaudy high school statistics, some have questioned Tyler's ability, but he ran 4.68 and 4.72 forties at UC's football camp earlier this week, and he owns a 300 lb. power clean in the weightroom. If you watch Tyler on tape, there is no question he's a physical player, exactly what you want at middle linebacker.
Tyler's strong work ethic comes from his blue collar family that operates a cement company, Dutch Contracting. A company that employs Tyler part-time in the summer. This summer has been more part-time than usual because Tyler and his father, Larry, have attended a number of football camps including Iowa, Indiana, Miami (OH), Illinois and Cincinnati. The Epsteins would like for their son to play for coaches that embody their Midwest work ethic, and coaches that believe in their son. Miami (OH), Illinois and Cincinnati seem like good fits according to Larry Epstein. "We like the coaches at Miami, Illinois and Cincinnati. They seem very much in line with that blue collar work ethic, and we're blue collar people."
Tyler Epstein will get scholarship offers, and he'll be a very productive player in college. I predict he'll also eventually serve as a captain on his college team. He has all the attributes. For example, last Sunday Bearcat Insider did a video interview with Tyler. Although the wind makes it difficult to hear the entire interview, one aspect of the interview stood out. Tyler smiled only once, and that was after being asked about his upcoming season at Farmington High School. Kids like Tyler Epstein "get it." They understand that the product of the team is more important than the product of the individual. He'll be violent on the field, not off. He'll graduate on time and always represent his University in the best possible way. He's the type kid UC needs. I believe the first school to show it believes in Tyler Epstein with a scholarship offer will get him. I hope it's a school in Clifton.