In sports, it's always a good idea to expect the unexpected. The same can be said when it come to Oregon running back commit Thomas Tyner (Aloha, Ore./Aloha). Of course, you can't expect anyone to rush for 643 yards and 10 touchdowns in a single game. In retrospect, perhaps everyone should have expected this.
Entering the season, Tyner made it clear he was on a mission to prove his doubters wrong. After an injury-plagued junior year in both football and track, the U.S. Army All-American is having a senior year for the ages.
Last week, Tyner was the unanimous choice for the Metro League Player of the Year. Tyner had the kind of regular season that few can even dream about. The four-star averaged nearly 12 yards per carry and set too many Oregon high school records to count.
In his first game of the year, Tyner helped Aloha avenge last year's playoff loss -- a game he missed due to injury -- against Springfield (Ore.) Thurston, running for 216 yards and four touchdowns on just 10 carries. In Week 2, Tyner showed he can carry the load, running the ball 32 times for 384 yards and three touchdowns, including 253 yards and all three scores in the third quarter alone. The scary thing is, he was just getting started.
The next week, Tyner had a night unlike any other in the history of Oregon high school football. He ran for a state-record 643 yards and 10 touchdowns on 38 carries. Aloha needed every bit of it as Lake Oswego (Ore.) Lakeridge pushed the Warriors to the limit before Tyner put the game away in a wild 84-63 victory.
In his final six games, the four-star RB averaged 261 yards and three touchdowns per contest.
Any time someone is named the unanimous player of the year -- in any league or sport -- it is an impressive feat. While Oregon isn't overflowing with top Division I recruits, the Metro League is consistently among the best leagues in the state. Tyner's performance was one to remember for anyone who saw him play.
When Aloha's playoff run comes to an end, it will once again be time to prove his doubters wrong. This time, it will be on the track. If he can come close to regaining his form from his sophomore track season, Aloha will likely be on their way to a third straight state track title.
During his sophomore year, he set a league -- and state -- record when he ran a 10.35 in the 100-meter dash. Tyner won the state championship in the 100-meters and helped Aloha to the team title by anchoring the 4x100 meter relay to the top of the podium. He is now up to 6-foot, 210 pounds, so it is yet to be seen if he can still produce similar numbers on the track.
If people doubt he can do it, Tyner would likely suggest that they turn on his highlights from the gridiron. The proof is in the tape and in the numbers.