UT in Hunt for RB Progeny

Although it's far too early in the process to draw many conclusions, this much can be fairly stated about UT's recruitment of California super back Marc Tyler: He is one of the nation's top ball carriers and Tennessee is one of the schools he plans to officially visit next fall.

Landing the 6-foot-1, 215-pound five-star tailback will be a tall task given his locale and UCLA roots, but the Vols only signed one back this year, plus LaMarcus Coker, Montario Hardesty and Arian Foster are attempting to come back from injuries. None among that trio are upper classmen and only Foster has more than a handful of carries at the collegiate level.

Clearly, Tennessee represents an opportunity for early playing time, especially in light of the fact the coaching staff would prefer a three-back rotation. Likewise, the Vols will need to distinguish themselves in a formidable field of contenders that includes: Notre Dame, USC, Michigan, South Carolina, Texas and UCLA. The Fighting Irish and Trojans in currently the leaders for Tyler, who is the son of former UCLA All-America and NFL running back Wendell Tyler.

As a junior at Westlake Village Oaks Christian, Marc Tyler ran the ball 182 times for 2,193 yards and 39 TDs, leading the Lions to CIF Division X three-peat and extending OC's three-year unbeaten streak to 39 straight games. He also returned a kickoff for a 96-yard touchdown.

"He's been a starter for us since he was a freshman, so three years," OC head coach Redell told Bryan Munson of BigRedReport. com. "That isn't typical. I think that in 18 years of coaching I have had maybe two freshman that have been starters for four years." Redell hasn't had any back as good as Marc Tyler, but he did once have the the nation's No. 1 rated prospect in his starting backfield.

"He's not as fast as his dad, but he is bigger, stronger," Redell said. "Remember Russell White? I had Russell White as a head coach and he is better than Russell. Russell was the number one player in the nation. Not quite as fast as Russell. I think that he is about a 10.9 100m as Russell is a 10.5 or 10.6."

That equates to a 4.5 time in the 40, but it doesn't begin to tell of his vision, power, toughness, quickness or ability to change directions. He started at linebacker as a freshman and has since see some service at safety. But his future is a first class mail carrier for a topflight college program. However this remarkable rusher is in no rush to make a decision.

"I want to go through the whole process, visit some schools and feel it out," he told Brandon Huffman of WeAreSC.com. "I want to go to some places and see the campuses. South Carolina, I'll be at the Tennessee-Georgia game, Michigan State. My dad and I haven't really sat down and talked about the timetable, but I think I'll wait and take my time."

Tyer indicates he's not incline to follow in his father's footsteps by playing at UCLA, but the Bruins' archrival status with the Trojans might delay his decision long enough to allow Tennessee a chance to make its case. He currently favors USC and Notre Dame.

Interestingly enough, those are the same two schools Oak Christian's QB, Jimmy Clausen, is reported to favor. The bigger question: Are Tyler and Clausen the best players on their team as well as the best prospects in the nation?"

"Me and Jimmy Clausen, we joke about who is the top recruit," Tyler said. "He says I'm 1B and he's 1A, then I say I'm 1A and he's 1B. But we're having fun with it."


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