Jan 6, 2012 12:43 AM by Andrew Masuda
His bags were packed for Hawaii, but by a twist of fate Tyler Gray is headed to Boise State University. The former Templeton High football star decided on Thursday to opt out of his scholarship to the University of Hawaii for a full ride to the perennial national powerhouse in Boise State.
Wednesday, Tyler and his family were set to drive to the airport for a flight to Hawaii, where he was supposed to start attending classes. Then from out of nowhere, a coach from Boise State called to offer Tyler a scholarship. Boise State did not heavily recruit Tyler in 2010 when he was an All-CIF and All-State linebacker and running back. Apparently, at least one coach there remembered watching film of Tyler last year and made the move.
Tyler signed a National Letter of Intent to Hawaii last February. He never attended classes at Hawaii and opted to grey-shirt this past fall. As a result, he was able to opt out of his prior commitment and retains all of his NCAA eligibility.
After talking it over with his family and coaches Wednesday night, Tyler filled out the necessary paperwork Thursday to officially became a Boise State Bronco.
"With all of Hawaii's coaches leaving, I didn't really know anybody that was there anymore so we decided to go with Boise State," said Gray, referring to the fact that Hawaii head coach Greg McMackin resigned after the 2011 season. "I feel very lucky that all of this, not just Boise State, but this whole thing happened. It's just the cherry on top."
Tyler said he gained about 25 pounds of muscle since his senior year of high school putting him at 6'3 and 225 pounds. His senior season in 2010, Gray was named the Los Padres League's Most Valuable Linebacker after racking up 143 tackles and 5 sacks. He rushed for 1,628 yards and scored 25 touchdowns to lead the Eagles to their first-ever CIF Northwest Division semifinal.
He departs for Boise next week, where he plans to major in mechanical engineering.
Boise State finished the season 12-1 and was ranked #7 in the final BCS poll. The Broncos have gone 73-6 over the last six years under head coach Chris Petersen. The coach just received a new contract that will pay him $2 million in the first year with $200,000 increases the following four years. Boise State just won the MAACO Bowl and will join the Big East Conference in 2013.
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