Remarkable Rookies: Football player Tyler Eckert recognized as an OUA All-Rookie
In what was otherwise a gloomy 2018 season for the Laurier football team, freshman Tyler Eckert was one of the few bright spots.
The defensive lineman’s strong play during the year was recognized last week, as he was named a member of the OUA All-Rookie team.
“It was an honour to be recognized by the whole OUA,” Eckert said. “I’m really proud to represent Laurier.”
In seven regular season games, Eckert recorded an impressive 13.5 tackles for the Golden Hawks, along with half a sack and two tackles for losses.
The game where Eckert started to become well-known to Laurier football fans, was week three against Waterloo where he recorded a season high three tackles.
“I was really happy with [that] Waterloo game,” Eckert mentioned. “I made my first big solo tackle on special teams and that really got me going that game.”
Eckert was the only rookie on the team that was a consistent member of the defensive line, with the rest of the core being made up of third and fourth year players. Being around that veteran presence definitely had a lasting effect on Eckert.
“Guys like Trevaughan James and Robbie Smith taught me so much. [Not] just on-field skills, [but also] how to carry yourself off the field, around the locker room and how to be more of a professional around the sport.”
“The D-Line group is one of the best groups on the team for everyone being an equal,” Eckert stated. “It doesn’t matter if you are a fourth year starter or you haven’t played a snap in a game yet. Everyone is equal and everyone talks with each other.”
Despite the Golden Hawks finishing with a disappointing 4-4 record on the season, missing out on the playoffs for the first time since 2013, the team still had one of the strongest defences in the province. Eckert played a big role in helping the team finish with the second fewest rushing yards allowed per game in the OUA.
However, regardless of the personal success early in his university football career, Eckert isn’t content with just maintaining the status quo.
“I’d like to contribute a lot more next year. I’m really hoping to put some size on me and really improve my strength game.”
With an impressive first chapter in his time as a Golden Hawk coming to a close, it will be exciting to see what is still to be written in Eckert’s Laurier career going forward.