Player Spotlight: Tyler West

Recruiting is built on relationships, and it's never too early to start establishing them especially with the in-state players showing early potential. Tyler West, who was only a freshman this season at Derby High School in Kansas, was an invitee to Kansas State's spring game.

"It was a great experience," said Tyler West. "Kansas State has a good program, especially with Coach Snyder being back. I got to learn more about the tradition and history of the school and the football program."

West, 5-foot 11, 180-pounds, played running back and linebacker as a freshman accumulating 350 yards and three touchdowns on the season.

"My coach doesn't like to play freshman at all," West stated. "Our starting running back went down with an injury, then our second-string back wasn't doing very well, so I got my shot. I did pretty well with three 100-yard games on varsity."

Kansas State isn't the only school West has heard from.

"I've heard from Tulsa, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State," West said. "South Carolina told me I'm on their list. This summer I'll probably go to a few camps. The only one I know for sure right now is Oklahoma State. I'll also be at some camps with my team."

Derby is a town about a dozen miles south of Wichita. The last big-time player at the school was Devin Hedgepeth in the class of '09. Hedgepeth is now a sophomore cornerback at Oklahoma State. West is hoping to gain momentum for himself with a strong sophomore showing in the fall.

"My coach told me I'm the starter at running back," West said. "I'd like to at least rush for 100 yards a game. Last season we didn't do too well. We went 5-4 with a first round loss in the playoffs. It was all right, but I want us to have at least five more wins."

Although giving a verbal commitment and subsequent Signing Day 2014 is a long way off, West has started considering what he wants to find in a college home.

"I'll know more later when I've been able to visit each school," West said. "Right now I'm just hoping to be able to go to a program with good coaches and good players. After the season, I'll probably have a better idea on what I'm looking for. I'm just enjoying going to camps and campuses and getting my name out there with coaches."

West makes visits with his father, Terry West, who played tight end at Derby High School and some semi-pro football. West wore No. 40 this year for the Derby Panthers, but may change in the coming season. His best 40-yard dash time is a 4.61 clocked at his high school.

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