Pine-Richland graduate makes saves as starting linebacker for Stony Brook
Sunday September 26, 2021 | 11:01 am
As Tyler King went through his recruiting process, the thing that stood out from Stony Brook was the transparency of the coaching staff.
“They didn’t beat anything around the bush with what they were telling me,” King said. “They were very direct.”
The message was that hard work pays off, and it was music to King’s ears.
King, a two-time All-State linebacker at Pine-Richland, went to work in the movie theater, weight room, and studied the playoff book. He was rewarded with a starting middle linebacker position as a red shirt rookie and repays coaches by excelling on the court.
King won the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week title on September 20 for a 12-tackle performance at Oregon. He learned that he received the award after training.
“I was happy with it, but I’m still hungry,” King said. “I am never satisfied and there is always room for growth. “
This hunger is part of the reason he got a job as a starting linebacker. He said he was not promised anything until training camp. He learned he got the job the week before Stony Brook’s opener against New Hampshire.
Not only is he a rookie as a rookie redshirt, but he’s also one of the team’s callers along with fellow linebacker Reidgee Dimanche. They are responsible for relaying defensive games.
King was one of the defensive players on the Pine-Richland State Championship team in 2018, but playing the same role in college is a much bigger task.
“We have to make sure everyone is properly lined up, receiving the call and the signals,” King said. “It’s different from high school, because it’s a much bigger playbook. One of the things that has helped me elevate my game is learning where everyone is supposed to be and not just my responsibilities. It helps me make things right. I know when I’ll get help or who’s going to what gap.
Stony Brook traveled to Oregon, fourth in the standings, a week after the Ducks surprised Ohio State. The Seawolves flirted with their own surprise in the first half, shooting just 17-7 at halftime before the Ducks pulled away for a 48-7 victory.
The result aside, King enjoyed the experience of playing in Oregon, from the size of the stadium to the noise of the crowds. He played a major role in keeping the Seawolves within striking distance in the first half.
“There were some things that I noticed about the movie, but really it all comes down to the 11 guys doing what they’re supposed to do,” King said. “The running back went where I was supposed to be most of the time. I pulled a couple of spreads and the coaches called the good games so I have to thank them for that.
Stony Brook (1-2) played a non-conference game with Fordham on Saturday before entering CAA play. While they didn’t get the desired result in Oregon, the performance gave King personal confidence and belief that the team can do some damage this fall.
“The first few games we were a little rusty, but after the (Oregon game) we know we can play with anyone in our conference,” King said. “I wouldn’t count us.”
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer