The 90 Illini #30: Tyler Sands August 2, 2012
6′-5″, 300 lbs.
Senior (on scholarship, 1 year to play 1)
Boyertown Area HS / Boyertown, Pennsylvania
ALE Ranking last year: #44
ALE Ranking in 2010: #40
What I Know About Him:
As you know, I’m a sucker for seniors. And walkons. And senior walkons like Widsom Onyegbule last year who worked his way into the rotation (and a scholarship) in his final season. I’ll always love the senior redemption story where a guy only plays sparingly his first three seasons but then finds himself an integral part of the rotation as a senior. That’s what I’m hoping for from Sands.
Tim Beckman has been dropping hints all summer that the offensive line we see on September 1 won’t necessarily be the offensive line we’re expecting. Which means Graham Pocic might head out to guard or tackle, or Hugh Thornton might go back to tackle, which means a guy like Sands might get a shot at the starting lineup. We’ll get our first clues on Monday (Monday!).
What I Expect From Him:
Before all of the hints that Pocic and Thornton might be on the move, I expected Sands to be in a heated battle for right guard with redshirt freshman Teddy Karras. Both took turns at that spot with the first string in the spring. But if Pocic and Thornton move, it’s wide open. Cvijanovic-Pocic-Feldmeyer-Sands-Thornton? Thornton-Hill-Pocic-Karras-Heitz? With a new scheme and a new OL coach, every spot appears to be wide open.
And I’d love to see Tyler Sands fill one of them. I remember him as a right tackle prospect when he signed, but then he always seemed to be aligned with the right guard position. So if he breaks through, that’s the spot where I see him.