The 5-foot-7, 165-pound Tyler McNair told BuffStampede.com that his performance at a CU camp led to his first collegiate offer. He wasn’t the only Southern Lab player to leave Boulder with an offer.
“We went up there and camped,” McNair said of CU, adding that at least four other teammates impressed enough to land offers. “I liked it. My first time ever seeing the Rocky Mountains. I like the school there, it’s big. I like the coaches, it’s nice, very nice up there.”
All signs, and a recent signer, point to the Buffs’ Bayou State pipeline building steam. CU’s staff paid attention to the Baton Rouge attendees at the June camp.
“[CU’s coaches] were talking to me … The running back coach, the receivers coach was giving me tips on my rout running,” McNair continued, noting the offers were extended to his squad via CU’s “bald head with a beard” safeties coach Joe Tumpkin.
McNair’s reaction to reeling in that first offer was a mixture of astonishment and disbelief. Given that he’ll only be a sophomore this coming school year, there’s not much in the way of film or highlights floating on the internet. The promising running back/receiver is looking to make a splash this fall.
“Very good to be noticed that my work is paying off,” McNair said on how it felt to hear the news of his first offer.
“Yes sir, I’m going to be a 10th-grader this year. I played a couple times [varsity], I mostly played junior varsity though,” McNair continued on limited-to-this-point high school experience.
“This year, the way it’s looking, I’m supposed to be starting at slot receiver and getting a lot of playing time, [I’m going to] try to make something big.”
Southern Lab’s head coach, former Louisiana State University and NFL quarterback Marcus Randall, offers sage advice to his players on what to expect from the recruiting merry-go-round.
“[Coach Randall] told me don’t really be too excited, you’ve still got to work. Be dedicated and keep working, keep grinding. There’s more to come,” McNair said.
The 2019 hopeful is a budding track standout in his non-football time at Southern Lab. McNair left his mark on the school’s top 10 sprint times and long jump record books as a freshman. Speed and athleticism that surely impressed Colorado’s coaches.
“I really like it up there at Colorado. Meeting the coaches, they were very expressive and helped you. If you were doing something wrong, they kept it 100,” McNair continued. “… The altitude was different up there. I got used to it, but when I came back down here it was kind of harder to breathe. The air is much thicker down here.”
Colorado’s facilities are at the top of the list when we’re talking about what catches a Boulder-visiting teenager’s eye. McNair spoke highly of the weight room and recovery pools CU installed in its quest to climb in the Pac-12.
“When I was walking in … almost all new stuff. I was like ‘wow,’” McNair said of CU.
McNair pegs Colorado’s facilities on the same page as the Baton Rouge-based LSU, a familiar program due to proximity. The summer trip for Southern Lab will likely pay dividends in team building come the fall and it could also pay off for CU as the Buffs build stronger ties to the bayou.
“Before we came to Colorado, we went to Arkansas for a three-day camp then we passed by Kansas,” McNair said, adding the Jayhawks have been showing interest and Arkansas was “kind of weird,” quasi-jokingly said.
“It was nice to spend time with [my teammates], get to know more about them and see them grind along with me. We really like [CU] … some of them don’t like the air up there."