Recruiting on the South Plains | RB Tyler Middleton Commits to Texas Tech

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

This has been a challenge. In an internet world where you can actually find something out about almost any player, it's been really tough to find something on Navarro JC running back Tyler Middleton. Part of the problem with Middleton is that he's not the best running back on his team. Not only that, I've almost gone crazy trying to find updated stats for Middleton and have come up completely empty. I've found what I can. Let's go.

PLAYER: Tyler Middleton

POSITION: Running Back
HEIGHT: 6'0"
WEIGHT: 180
FORTY: 4.32
JUCO: Navarro J.C. (Corsicana, TX)
VIDEO: Clip 1
RECRUITING SERVICES: Rivals N/R | Scout N/R | ESPN N/R | 247 Sports 81
CUMULATIVE RANKING: 70.50
VTM PROFILE DATE: December 30, 2012

OFFERS | Coming out of high school, Middleton had almost no offers, just an offer from Montana St. and N. Texas. Now, as a JUCO player, Middleton apparently has an offer from Louisiana Tech and Middle Tennessee St. If you're scratching your head, then join the crowd.

STATS | In 2010, Middleton was a senior at Midland. Here is another running back in the same part of the world and Middleton's numbers:

Middleton: 214 Rush Att | 1,748 Rush Yds | 31 Rush TD | 21 Rec | 278 Rec Yds 2 TD
Other Running Back: 229 Rush Att | 2,173 Rush Yds | 28 TD | 15 Rec | 98 Rec Yds 1 TD

As a senior, Middleton accounted for 2,096 yards and 33 touchdowns. The Other Running Back accounted for 2,271 yards and 29 touchdowns. That's a difference between the two of about 13 total yards a game. The Other Running Back was Bradley Marquez. Same district and Midland was actually 4-1 that year in district while Odessa was 2-3.

If you look at the NJCAA statistic page for Middleton, it says he's only rushed 7 times on the entire year. That's not accurate. Navarro JC has rushed for 3,693 yards this year. If you look at the total rushing yards, the figures at the rushing portion are not accurate if you add up all of the players the NJCAA has included, which includes Traylon Shead, one of the better JUCO RB's in the nation. Add up Shead, Godfrey, Drake, Middleton and Wright and you get 2,126 yards, not the 3,693 yards. If I had to guess, I think that Middleton has accounted for a large chunk of those missing yards.

In fact, if you look at this article from the beginning of October, Middleton had 450 total yards, 334 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns, 116 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. And in the JUCO national championship game (I think this is what this is) against Georgia Military Institute, Middleton had 7 carries for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns and earned the MVP for the game.

[Note by Seth C, 01/16/13 5:53 AM CST ] I received an email from an individual who is also a game official in this JUCO conference and he passed these stats along regarding Middleton (Much thanks!):

At Midland High School, he was a 6'0", 180 lbs. and ran a 4.4, 40. He was 2nd team all-district 3-5A in 2010. Finished 5th in the UIL 5A state 100 meters (10.52) on May 14, 2011.

In 2011, as a freshman RB for Navarro College, he played in 6 games, had 48 carries for 281 yards and 4 TDs, and 5 catches for 96 yards and 1 TD.

As a sophomore this past season, he played in all 12 games and had 71 carries for 898 yards (12.6 yds per carry) and 11 TDs. Receiving, he had 18 catches for 215 yards and 5 TDs.

He was the second leading rusher and scorer (90 points) on a 10-2 team that finished ranked #4 in the NJCAA. Was voted the MVP of the Heart of Texas Bowl played on December 1, 2012 after rushing 7 times for 126 yards, including touchdown runs of 64 and 46 yards.

THE PLAYER SPEAKS | I don't know that we'll find much more free stuff, but for now, we'll go back to the first link in the prior paragraph, which is a profile of Middleton from the Midland Reporter. Just reading between the lines, you sorta get the idea that maybe Middleton has had some things going on in his life that have held him back (perhaps self-inflicted):

He's determined to not let the people who have had faith in him down. People like the Navarro coaching staff, the Becks of Midland who took him in and helped steer him onto a straighter path, his own family still in Midland or the coaches at Midland High who still take an interest in what he's achieving.

"I'm trying to take everything that's been handed to me and make sure I don't waste anything," Middleton said. "It's just a blessing. Not too many people have that many people in their life like that. They all helped get me a second chance to play and I don't want to let them down."

And here's Middleton to talk about being patient:

"I try to take advantage of every chance I get on the field," Middleton said. "We've got some good players. We have four good running backs. You have to do your best every time you touch the ball or else somebody else might get more chances."

Last, Middleton's Navarro quarterback talked about what he can do (from the last link in the prior section):

"(Middleton) is a phenomenal athlete and he showed everyone what he could do today," he said. "He’s got that special something that you see in guys who play on Sunday. He was the difference for us offensively today, but we still got a little magic from Stump when we needed it."

SCOUTING REPORT | Earlier this month, Middleton talked with ESPN who said that Middleton ran a 4.32 in the forty. That's most like a very fake time, but he's still probably pretty darned fast. This is the only video I could find of Middleton, he's #5 and he has some highlights at the beginning, at the 2:35, 3:20, 3:40, 4:10, and 4:35:

Not surprisingly, he's really fast, breaks a lot of big plays, etc. Seems like the kind of guy that you would expect from a guy that had over 2,000 yards of total offense coming out of high school. That's pretty special.

So if you were to ask me what I think about Middleton and where he ends up playing? I think eventually he's probably a receiver. If he really has that sort of speed, then he's a perfect replacement on the outside if Ward leaves, but also for Moore, Kennard and just about every other wide receiver that's there. There are no sure things on the outside other than Ward, and he may declare for the NFL draft. Derreck Edwards is another possibility, but he was suspended earlier this year, so I'm not counting my chickens. At 6-0 and 180 or so, that's plenty big to play receiver and make a significant difference somewhere.

Also, I don't see him switching to defense. He doesn't have a history of playing defense, so I think that switching a kid that's a skilled offensive player when the ball is in his hands, then you leave him there.

Tyler, welcome to Texas Tech and Git Your Guns Up!

The 2013 Class

Position

Commitment

Ht/Wt

School/State

Cumulative Ranking

QB Davis Webb 6-4/195 Prosper (Prosper, TX) 74.57
RB Jalen Rhodes 5-9/175 Rowlett (Rowlett, TX) 69.67
RB Daryl Chestnut 5-9/190 Columbus (Miami, FL) 72.67
RB Tyler Middleton 6-0/180 Navarro J.C. (Corsicana, TX) 71.50
WR Dylan Cantrell 6-3/202 Whitehouse (Whitehouse, TX) 73.90
TE - - - -
OG Baylen Brown 6-4/295 O'Connor (Helotes, TX) 71.14
OL Maurice Porter 6-5/290 Fort Bend Marshall (Missouri City, TX) 74.86
OL Cody Hayes 6-5/260 Eastern Hills (Ft. Worth, TX) 67.67
CB Will Barrow 5-10/160 Skyline (Dallas, TX) 70.62
DB Maurice Chandler 6-0/180 Lawton (Lawton, OK) 71.19
DB Aneas Henricks 6-0/170 Bastrop (Bastrop, TX) 66.67
ATH Justis Nelson 6-2/180 Dallas Christian (Mesquite ,TX) 71.78
ATH Caleb Woodward 6-1/190 Leander (Leander ,TX) 66.38
Averages 70.75
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