Tyler Fanucchi fits the description of a California kid with the crisp tan and spiked up hair, but you're not likely to find a harder worker on and off the football field.
"Iowa started recruiting me last month," Tyler said. "It started out with a film request sent to my coach, and then I was contacted by Coach Ferentz on the phone. He told me they could see how much love I had for the game on film. He also said that he was impressed with the amount of heart I put into the game."
Coach Ferentz may have never been able to comment on the ability of Tyler if it had not been for a tip from former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. Coach Ferentz, who thanked Branstad in a press conference, was told by the former governor there was a prospect from a Hawkeye hotspot in California that showed the effort and talent needed to be a Hawkeye.
Claremont High School, which has produced former Hawkeyes Dan McGwuire and Travis Watkins, is the home of Fanucchi. Tyler starred this fall at WR with 60 receptions for a little over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns.
"I've received an offer from Boise State and D1-AA Portland State," Tyler added. "I visited Boise State already since my brother is on the team, but I'm not sure about any other visits. Washington State was starting to pick-up their interest, but I'm not sure anymore due to the coaching change."
At 5'10 175, Tyler was snubbed a bit by Pac Ten schools due to his size. However, you do not have to look far to realize his potential with two brothers currently starring at Divison One programs.
"My oldest brother, Louie, is a WR for Boise State. My middle brother, Alan, is a CB for UNLV. They've helped prepare me for the game and the recruiting process."
Tyler also remarked that he was expecting a big performance from his brother in defeating the Cyclones.
With his size in question, I changed the topic to the question of whether there was any chance he could be featured on the opposite side of the ball?
"Well, I've got a brother who plays that position, but I like scoring touchdowns."
With 10.7 speed recorded in the 100m dash as a sophomore, there is no question Tyler presents the speed to be a downfield threat. Tyler was unable to run track last year due to a pulled hamstring, but hopes to return to the oval this spring. He plans on a new personal best in the 100! So, is Tyler a track guy playing football?
"No, not at all," Tyler commented passionately. "I have way too much passion for the game of football. Even before track practice, you can find me doing my work-outs for football."
Now Tyler will be looking for the choice of selecting the school where his speed best applies. Could Fanucchi be added as the second burner in this class to go along with Herb Grigsby?