Coach's Corner: Kim Battin

Inside, Cajon head coach Kim Battin talks about Colorado verbal commit Tyler Ahles.

Tyler Ahles was recruited at Colorado as a linebacker and verbally committed to the Buffs in June prior to his senior season. That was before Ahles dedicated himself to his role as tight end/fullback for Cajon this past fall. Playing both ways for the first time, Ahles had 18 catches, 18 carries for 277 yards (five total touchdowns) and 63 tackles.

Ahles helped Cajon to a 6-5 record, including a playoff berth where they lost to Colony. Cajon coach Kim Battin spoke with BSN about Ahles:

BSN: What kind of player has he been for you?
: He was a starter both ways, and all-league both ways. I know he was recruited as a linebacker, but for us this year offensively he was really big. He played tight end and we motioned him into the backfield and used him as the second back.

He had some huge plays. The playoff game, our only touchdown was a 75 yard run by him. He had big plays receiving. He was a huge offensive force for us. In fact, we rested him on defense. He never came off the field on offense.

Last year he didn't do any of that for us. We were able to do all that (offense) in one year.

Defensively, he's obviously a very strong inside linebacker. He played our mike and sam linebacker. He's a physical, run-to-the-ball kind of kid. We brought him a lot out of our 3-5 and pressured the quarterback a lot with him. But again, he turned into more of an offensive threat for us. So if we had to rest him, we rested him on defense.

The scout was there (Brian Cabral) for the playoff game. He had a huge game at linebacker, so that was kind of good. He saw him for the first half and said, ‘that's all I need to see.'

What we thought we'd get from him, we got. Big, physical, fast and brought a lot of enthusiasm to the field.

We only had 10 seniors this year and four played. It was a weak senior group – we had nine sophomores starting. We did not think we'd have a playoff year. Not solely because of him, but a lot of it was on Tyler that we got there.

BSN: The impression I get from reading things about him is that he's a real high-energy guy. Is that accurate?
: Yeah. He's got a great motor. And once he settles down on one side of the ball and can devote all his time and energy to that, he's going to be that much better.

BSN: Where do you think he's best suited to play?
: I don't know what the plan is with him, but after the season that we saw from him and the huge plays – from catching an 80 yard touchdown pass, which he ran three or four guys over, or catching a 5-yard out and basically running guys over against a good Colony team in the playoffs – somebody's going to have to think about it. I would say going into the season it was a no-brainer (that he was a linebacker), but after the season he had, somebody's going to have to think about it. If I gave film, 80 percent of my film would be what he did on offense because he was just that explosive.

BSN: Tyler camped at Colorado?
: Yeah, Tyler went to camp there over the summer. The comments always are ‘big, fast, strong and rarely off his feet.' He's very balanced. He's wrestled for us. He didn't want to lose weight so he wrestled as a heavyweight last year at 220, (a classification) that goes up to 275 here. And he was league champion and beating guys that were 275 pounds. He's got great balance. He's got all the tools to be very successful at the next level.

(Cabral) was at our playoff game. We've had in the past, when scouts have come to watch their guy, the guy just tanks it, too much pressure or whatever reason. But Tyler had probably had the best game of his year defensively. (Colony) has a D-I running back (Omar Bolden) and Tyler hit him three times in the backfield, and I just mean he lit him up. And so when I saw Coach in the third quarter he said, ‘I've seen enough.' That was after a 75 yard run and then just lighting this kid up on three different plays.

In August he's gonna be 6-4, 240 running a 4.63 or 4.65 40.

BSN: What's your sense of what he liked about Colorado?
: He liked the whole atmosphere. He grew up in Bishop, Calif. It's a woodsie atmosphere. And he liked the small-town feel (in Boulder). He grew up in that kind of atmosphere. The coaches, he really liked. Those were the things I got from him.

(Colorado) didn't have a great season by any means, and he never swayed. Sometimes you get these kids and they're like, ‘Gosh, they're 1-4…' He was like, ‘That's no worry to me. That's where I'm going.' He obviously felt at home there.

BSN: Do you think if he had played just offense or just defense he would've gotten more interest? I say that without actually knowing exactly how much interest he got.
: He got a ton of interest. But they've all pretty much known that he verbally committed. The smart ones have talked to him and realized that everything about him is committed to Colorado, so they haven't felt that they had a shot.

But before he committed, the Pac-10 was on him. Oregon, Washington, Washington State, Arizona State. Anybody who's seen him in action. The guys who have seen him on a football field move and run and do things, were very high on him.

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