Interesting story about how FSU recruiting coordinator James Coley found his way to Salisbury School in New England. But we'll save that for later. Today's story is how FSU recruit Will Tye ended up there, at what's described as an "elite boarding academy in the Connecticut Berkshires."And just because Tye became an Up-East prep school star, can he project to lining up someday soon in Jimbo Fisher's offense?
For some answers, we spoke to the man who knows Tye best (football-wise), Chris Adamson, the head coach at Salisbury.
Tell us about Will and his time at your school.
Adamson: "We just had him for one year. He played a little more straight wide receiver for us than he did tight end. We had the luxury of having some pretty good tight ends, and Will is athletic enough to play wide receiver, so we split him out most of the time. But he'll be a very good tight end. He just turned 18 and is a big athletic kid who presents a problem for opponents."
Where was he before he came to Salisbury?
Adamson: "Will is from from here in Connecticut and had been at Xavier High School, a Catholic school down in Middletown. He'd been diagnosed with a learning disability and repeated his sophomore year when he transfered from his public school to Xavier. But the state recently changed the rule allowing for a fifth year of eligibility. So he was able to petition and be eligible to play in our league, and we were able to get him here."
But football wasn't his first love, right?
Adamson: "No, it's been basketball year-round for him almost his entire life."
Does Will think football is his future, though? He won't miss basketball?
Adamson: "Oh, yeah. No question. He had some offers in basketball this past summer from some mid-major schools. But he wants to play football."
What caught the eye of college recruiters who saw Will?
Adamson: "He's got very good ball skills and top-end speed. When he gets going, nobody catches him. He runs a consistent low 4.6 in the 40 and has run a high 4.5. And that's at 235 to 240 pounds. He's a big strong kid and one that's really going to take off when he gets in the weight room all winter."
Did he play on both sides of the ball for you?
Adamson: "He played some at linebacker and at defensive end and did a pretty good job. Had a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. Had some big sacks here and there."
But you think tight end is his best position?
Adamson: "I do. He's definitely an offensive guy. That's where he's most comfortable and has great instincts. And he's really a strong kid. Even when he goes up against Bjoern (Werner, FSU's other recruit from Salisbury), Bjoern's not moving him much. And Bjoern is bigger and stronger."
Any particular reason he chose FSU?
Adamson: "Will has always wanted to go to Florida State. He had a Florida State pillow when he was a little kid. After the season he had offers from Temple and North Carolina State. And other schools were interested but hadn't offered him yet. But he just always wanted to go to Florida State, and it's amazing how it worked out for him."
Academically, is he qualified?
Adamson: "He's going to get there. He's not far off. Just needs a couple of points on the SAT. But he's real close and he projects to get there."
How about off the field?
Adamson: "He's a real good kid. He's got a real good family base, both Mother and Father."
Finally, some people might question the level of play in your prep school league. Is it competitive enough to prepare kids for D-1 football?Adamson: "Oh, yeah. We've had seven Division One guys in the last couple to three years and several at the I-AA or D-2 level -- which for a school with 300 boys is pretty good. In our league the speed isn't comparable to Florida. But in terms of physicality and toughness, because so many guys are fifth year guys, that maturity really shows up on the line and at linebacker. So there's good players up here."