Football Excellence A Family Tradition For Brandon's Reed Tyler
One thing that unites, or divides, almost all Mississippians on a daily basis is the rivalry between the state’s two premier intercollegiate athletic programs. The tension between Mississippi State and Ole Miss stretches far beyond the gridiron, hardwood, diamond or any athletic venue.
Reed Tyler has grown up with influences from broth programs. His grandfather, Bob, took his first college coaching job at Ole Miss in 1968, where he served as an assistant through the 1970 season. By 1972 Bob Tyler was the offensive coordinator for Mississippi State, and he served as head coach of the Bulldogs from 1973 to 1978.
Additionally, Reed’s father, Breck, started as a receiver for Mississippi State during his freshman and sophomore seasons. His final two seasons he started as a receiver for Ole Miss.
“I get asked about it a lot. My whole family, including me, are actually neutral between the two schools,” Tyler told SES Mississippi. “We don’t really hate either side. I like both schools, and so do my grandfather and dad.”
Reed also plays baseball for Brandon, but he says there is no question football is his first love. That love runs deep in his family and he grew up immersed in the game.
“As a kid growing up, with my grandfather and my dad, I was just always around the game. I always loved watching and playing football,” He said. “My family always seems to talk about football whether we are watching a game or not.”
Besides coaching at both in-state SEC in-state institutions, Bob also notably coached Archie Manning and coached under the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant. While his father Breck was a four-year starter. Needless to say there is plenty of knowledge between them to pass down to Reed.
“The main thing I learned from my grandfather was just knowledge of the game,” Tyler explained. “When I was younger we would watch games and he would talk about reading coverages and things like that. He still does that to this day after my games.”
“My dad taught me work ethic and to strive to become the best I can be.”
Last season Brandon felt short of their goal to win a title in the second round at the hands of Petal. The Panthers had ended their season for a second straight year. But Tyler sees the positives of a 10-4 finish in 2016.
“We had a great regular season. Even with all the injuries we finished 9-3. I believe the team this year will use last year’s loss to motivate us this offseason.”
“On a personal level I felt that as the season went on I became more of a two-way player, by being used more in the passing game. I also played more in the slot and as an h-back.”
The ability to play multiple positions is something Tyler takes pride in. All in all he totaled 24 catches for 268 yards and a touchdown in 2016.
“I think one of my biggest skills is my versatility. I can use my body against smaller defenders to catch the ball, but I also have enough speed to get open against bigger defenders,” He said.
“I believe my role will expand next season. I’ll be more involved in the receiving game and more of a goal line threat.
Speed is what Tyler is most focused on this offseason. He recently ran a 4.81 in the 40-yard dash and wants to improve on that. Additionally, he would like to be more explosive on his routes.
All the same Tyler expects for his team to raise their game yet again. The Brandon program always seems to reload and contend. He expects nothing less in 2017.
“In the past few years many key players have come through the program like Gardner Minshew and Taylor Polk, who have a mindset of hard work and leadership,” Tyler said. “Brandon is a well-known winning program, and it is an honor to play for Brandon.”
“The main area we will have improved on this year is the passing game. We have all our slots and outside receivers coming back, as well as a new quarterback, Will Rodgers. He has a great arm and good accuracy. We all have good chemistry with Will with all the extra time we’re already putting in with him this offseason.”
**Photo by Keith Warren of the MHSAA.