http://www.scout.com/player/204081-tyler-nevens?s=199Question, InsideTheSpartans.com: Please tell us about your recruiting experience and why you committed to San Jose State.
Answer, Tyler Nevens: Throughout my year my recruitment was very wonderful. It was a little bit slow. I didn’t receive my first offer until my senior year. My first offer that I had was from Montana State. Then throughout the season each and every offer started coming in. One of the offers I was dealing with was San Jose, but I wasn’t feeling comfortable with them at first because of their issue of their staff and how they had a new staff.
After football season I had a chance to meet their new staff and really learn about what San Jose State is and what they’re trying to do there. I just loved the coaches. The coaches sold me. In my high school, I loved my head coach because he cared for us. If there was any problems off the field, he’s got us. That’s kind of what I want in college and these coaches showed that. Coach Brennan, Coach Carter, Coach Harris, all those guys - they care.
This new staff, they’re serious. They’re on a mission and are willing to do anything to achieve that mission. That was one part that sold me and the other part was when I went to the school the campus was beautiful - I loved the campus. Also what was big for me was school. Them having a big engineering major, that pretty much put all the pieces together and that’s how I committed.
Q: When SJSU offered you, was it the previous coaches? When the new staff came in, what were some of the schools that you were narrowed down to?
A: Yes. I was narrowed down to one school and that school was Portland State from the Big Sky Conference. They were the only school that really wanted me, they had a full-ride, they had everything I wanted in a school and the people there were great.
Q: What was SJSU able to do to sway you?
A: Their coaches - the way the coaches are, not only to the players, but with themselves. They are real comfortable. They aren't afraid to show who they are as a personality. There is one coach, he is real serious - (Joe Bernardi) - I really like the offensive line coach. He reminds me of myself.
When I’m on the field, I’m all serious and all business, but when I’m off the field I like to goof around and be funny. That’s how these coaches are and I like how they are comfortable with the players. That brings a big connection with the players and I think that can bring a lot of success to the football field.
Q: Did the coaches’ youth play a role?
A: It makes me feel more comfortable. Coaches that are young, mostly these coaches, have experience even though they are young, so they know what it’s like as a college athlete.
Q: What about your position coach, Coach Carter - What do you think of him?
A: I knew Coach Carter because I was a big Marshawn Lynch fan. I knew that Marshawn Lynch was coached by Coach Carter. I kept that in the back of my mind. I didn’t remember until Coach Carter came to my house and talked to my family about how he coached Marshawn and all these great running backs from his old high school. He still connects with them, visits at their home to train with them.
He’s just the greatest guy. He’s disciplined, he’s all serious about his work, he’s the oldest guy on the staff so you know he’s all about his business.
Q: San Jose State is a little closer to home as well, right?
A: I think it’s good. At first my goal was to get out of California. I wanted to get the experience of being away from home and doing things for myself. It’s kind of good that it’s in California. I’m far, but not too far away. I’m not too far away for my family to come and watch my games.
I think that’s what is good about San Jose State. It’s different from down here in L.A. and that’s one thing I was looking for from a college, something different. A different lifestyle for me to get used to and adjust to. I can still have the experience of being a man, being by myself and setting my own schedule.
Q: How would you describe your game?
A: On the field, I’m very competitive. If I see the biggest dude on the team, I’m going for that biggest dude. That’s how I am, I’m very competitive. Whatever my job is, I’m very serious to get that done. My attitude on the field is laid back. I’m quiet. I don’t trash talk or anything like that. If I score a touchdown I don’t celebrate, because that’s my job. That’s what I’m supposed to do. I’m a real focused running back.
I (used) to be a shifty worker and that didn’t work out for me. I changed my style to a downhill runner and that worked out for me. I can still lose players with my speed. I’m more of a all-around back is how I see it. I can play receiver. The only thing I need to adjust to is my pass blocking. In high school, we didn't’ pass the ball as much. We just ran the ball all the time, so I’m not used to pass blocking.
Q: Did the coaches tell you much about their plan for the offense and how they will use you?
A: Yes, they did. Once the head coach and all the staff came in and they were talking about their new playbook they are going to install, they told me… that they are going to run the same style that Texas ran last year. They said I reminded them so much of D’Onte Foreman. They said I’m built like him and that it’s a perfect fit for what they’re trying to do. Foreman, with that offense, rushed for over 1,000 yards and that offense was very successful with him.
I saw some of the plays they ran and it’s very similar to the plays I ran in high school. It’s the same thing, but faster. I think that’s what also made me more comfortable with San Jose State because I knew how they felt about me and I know what my role would be.
Q: What is your height and weight?
A: 6-feet and 225 lbs, but I lost 10 pounds because I was feeling too heavy, so I’m 215 right now.
Q: Speaking of Texas, if you aren’t redshirting you’ll be playing at Texas in a few months.
A: I’m really curious. I’m real excited, because I’ve never been to a Division-I big college football game before. I want to see what the atmosphere is like. Not just watching, but being on the field and listening and being around that atmosphere. I want to see what it’s like. I hear it’s really intimidating and challenging to a player’s mind. I’m really curious of what it feels like and I’m excited.
Q: In reflection, how does it feel to have committed to San Jose State?
A: The scholarship, it’s a real honor. It’s really great to have a big school’s recognition of what you’re doing on the field. Sometimes recruitment can be tough. Some kids may be really good but aren’t getting the looks they want. I got a look that was good enough for me is how I feel.
Adjusting to it, a part of me is ready. I’m ready to grow up, I’m ready to be on my own in college, I’m ready to do my own things in college and make my own decisions. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do because I want to have that experience and become a man for my family and my mom.
Q: Do you have a major in mind?
A: I was going to go into computer science and computer engineering. With that, I want to go into game development. I want to make and develop video games.
Q: Do you play video games often?
A: I play a lot of video games in my spare time, I’m not going to lie to you. That’s pretty much all I do when I’m at home. Over spring break that was all I was doing… I like a lot of games - zombie games like Resident Evil and Call of Duty. I like competitive games like Overwatch. I’ve been playing a lot of Star Wars lately. I like playing those first-person shooting games, I like playing fighting games and stuff like that.
Q: Do you play Madden football?
A: I don’t play much sports games to be honest. I haven’t adjusted to sports games, I don’t have the experience with sports games. I know it’s something if I practiced at I could learn them and play.
Q: Playstation or XBOX?
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: I just want to say thank you for recognizing me to interview me. I really appreciate it.