Bloomington – Three straight days of unofficial visits comes to an Friday for Pike H.S. standout Dakotah Tyler.
After trips to IU on Wednesday and Purdue on Thursday, the 5-10, 199-pound athlete is headed to Cincinnati on Friday to take a closer look at the Bearcat program. Both Indiana and Cincinnati have offered scholarships, while Tyler expects Purdue to do the same after their one-day camp sessions come to a close later this month.
It's a trio of schools that appear to have separated themselves from the pack for this versatile playmaker who could play safety, wide receiver or even running back in college.
"Indiana is right at the top right now, in that top three," Tyler said Thursday. "They're at the top of the list that I'm considering."
Tyler was in Bloomington Wednesday along with his high school teammate, offensive lineman Andre Cureton. While Cureton was participating in a one-day camp in an effort to earn a scholarship offer from the IU staff, Tyler was offered by Indiana late last month. So Tyler used the trip to town as an opportunity to sit down with the Hoosier staff as well as the academic staff to find out more about the program.
He said he was able to meet one-on-one with IU Coach Bill Lynch, running backs coach Dennis Springer, safeties coach Mike Yeager and wide receivers coach Billy Lynch during his trip to town and came away impressed with what they had to say about the program.
"It's a program that is on the rise," Tyler said. "They were talking that if I played safety I'd come in and get some playing time early because they have a couple of safeties graduating my freshman year. Coach Yeager talked about their defensive scheme and what they do with their safeties and they set it up so the safeties can be playmakers."
That's exactly the kind of player Tyler has been at Pike. He helped the team to a 14-1 record and a runner-up finish at state by starring on both sides of the ball. On defense Tyler totaled 81 tackles as a safety, and on offense he split time between wide receiver and running back. This fall Tyler will take over the reigns of the Pike offense as the team's quarterback.
Tyler earned an IU scholarship offer based on not only his play last fall, but also because of the impressive marks he's been putting up this spring and summer at various combines. At last month's Scout.com Cincinnati combine Tyler ran a 4.38 in the 40, benched 320 pounds and posted a 37-inch vertical jump.
Those numbers on the field and off have the Hoosiers targeting Tyler as one of the in-state players that they desperately want to have to get the 2009 class rolling.
"They want to get all the best in-state players to go to Indiana, kind of like how all the top Ohio players go to Ohio State," Tyler said.
While Indiana wants to attract the top in-state players to Bloomington, Tyler wants to do his best to find the program that can give him the best opportunity to enjoy success during his four years in college and beyond.
"The coaching staff is important to me, because I want to make sure they're people that can push me and help me become the best player I can be so I could possibly extend my playing career (beyond college)," Tyler said. "The campus environment is big also, and that's something I really liked about IU. It's a big campus and there's a lot of stuff going on. Academics is also important. I want to know what kind of weight my diploma will have, and both Indiana and Purdue are good there."
With his run of unofficials ending on Friday, could Tyler make a decision soon? He admits that he'd like to make a choice before the start of his senior season, but he also wants to make sure he's not putting too much pressure on himself.
"I think I'll decide before the season, but I'm not putting a time limit on it because I don't want to end up rushing my decision," Tyler said.
Tyler Makes IU Unofficial Visit
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