NFL Draft Preview: USC RB Marc Tyler


November 12, 2011; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans running back Marc Tyler (26) runs the ball against the defense of Washington Huskies safety Will Shamburger (13) during the first half at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Name: Marc Tyler

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 219

Projection: Undrafted Free Agent

Ah, Mr. “University of Sexual Ballers” himself. At this point, Marc Tyler is probably more known for his run-in with TMZ than his time at Troy, which kind of speaks to the way his career has gone.

Tyler was a five-star recruit out of high school, and like all ball carriers that come to Tailback U, he was expected to do great things. He was kind of supposed to be the next big thing after Reggie Bush, alongside fellow running back Joe McKnight.

Unfortunately, that didn’t really materialize the way he envisioned.

Tyler redshirted his freshman year in 2007 to further recover from a broken leg that he sustained during his senior year of high school at Oaks Christian. Then the following season he saw limited time as a reserve, having 38 carries for 198 yards and one touchdown for the season. In 2009, his redshirt sophomore year, he was expected to be a pivotal part of the offense, but a toe injury sidelined him for all but one game.

In 2010 as a redshirt junior, Tyler really got his chance to shine.

This was Tyler’s best season by far, and he made a case for himself as to why he should be THE running back for Troy. He finished the season with a team-high 913 yards on 171 rushes, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He also had nine touchdowns on the ground, and added 17 catches for 127 yards and one touchdown to his resume. At the end of the season, there was little doubt in the coaches’ and fans’ minds alike that Tyler was going to be the face of the running game.

And then, this happened.

As a result of his comments about USC “breaking bread” and a collection of other drunken comments, Tyler was suspended for the remainder of the 2011 fall camp, as well as the season opener. After that, things never really swung back in his favor. He did have one standout game against Syracuse this season, but beyond that, he kind of fell into the shadow of Curtis McNeal’s breakout season, and the rest was history.

To make matters worse, Tyler had a pretty disappointing NFL Combine. He ran a 4.76 40-yard dash at the combine, beyond abysmal for anyone who wants to be a RB at the pro level. He did however redeem himself at USC’s Pro Day, where he posted a time of 4.64. In his time at USC, Tyler showed that he is a downhill runner that stays balanced and level until he is physically brought down by defenders. He’s a big back; at one point the Pete Carroll coaching staff considered moving him to linebacker. Once he gets his feet going, opponents are tasked with trying to stop him, as he won’t go down easily. His frame and athletic ability cannot be denied, as he gains positive yardage effortlessly. He struggles, though, to be explosive, and his big-play making ability is questionable.

Experts say that he needs to show that he can be more explosive, and that he—obviously—needs to exhibit more speed. He can be stiff at times and has shown difficulty changing direction on plays. Ball security is also an issue for him, and this was no truer than this past season, where he fumbled in the redzone against Oregon in what would’ve been the nail in the coffin for the Ducks. Like pretty much every running back to come to USC after Reggie Bush, Tyler failed to live up to the hype surrounding him. Furthermore, he has a few minor character concerns that could deter NFL scouts from him.

Tyler is a solid athlete, and though he will most likely be an undrafted free agent, he could still put in the work to establish a solid career for himself.

For more draft coverage, check out these links:

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