Updated Thu, Sep 13, 2012 8:43 am
Updated Thu, Sep 13, 2012 8:43 am
Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton’s world is becoming more and more different than the normal Ohio student’s world.
He is becoming a nationally known name as his performance on the field makes his popularity boom.
Everyone recognizes Ohio’s two-year starting quarterback when he puts on his number four jersey in Peden Stadium. However, he admits that few are able to pick him out among the average students when he is wearing his Wrangler jeans on Court Street.
Tettleton’s career continues to progress game-by-game, and his name continues to popularize. National media figures were taking notice in the season opener at Penn State.
Most notably, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King commented on his impressive game. The Ohio alum tweeted, “Tyler Tettleton, you rock,” and also gave the redshirt junior a section in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback blog.
Yet, Tettleton remains humble. He had just come off one of the biggest wins in school history, but he was still focused on the next game.
The holder of several school records already, he is approaching more this season, but he doesn’t bother to think about them.
“I mean, as a quarterback, I don't look into much of that stuff,” said Tettleton on his records. “It's great to do all those things, but the credit has to go to all the guys around me that allowed me to do that.”
Tettleton has always been thankful for the players around him. Since becoming the starting quarterback, he has had some good receivers, most notably LaVon Brazill, who now plays for the Indianapolis Colts.
It was Landon Smith, though, who saved Tettleton in the opening drive of the second half against Penn State. Down 14-3 on Penn State’s 43 yard line, Tettleton lined up in the shotgun with three receivers. It was a big third down play that shifted the game’s momentum.
The veteran quarterback bobbled the snap and only had a split second to scan the field.
The flustered Tettleton tossed a questionable ball into double coverage, where it was tipped by Penn State’s Stephen Obeng-Agyapong. Smith, being at the right place at the right time, caught the tipped ball and went untouched into the end zone for a 43 yard touchdown.
Smith’s catch saved Tettleton and the game for Ohio. From there, the momentum shifted in the Bobcats’ favor.
Tettleton knew Smith saved him. He told King that throw was, “probably one of the dumbest” he’s thrown in awhile.
The quarterback knows mistakes will come, though. He grew up watching one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks make 336 mistakes in his career.
Tettleton has always admired the way Brett Favre played football. Tettleton approaches every practice and game the same way his fellow number four QB did in his prime.
“(Favre) loves to have fun out there, and he gets the job done. He's one of the best quarterbacks ever,” Tettleton said. “I feel like I kind of try to play the way he played and be about everything he's all about.”
Throughout his career, Favre made a name for himself by being tough, both mentally and physically. He has 11 NFL records because of his mindset.
Tettleton, already the owner of four Bobcat career passing records, is approaching seven more this season. When Tettleton hangs up his jersey for the last time, he could be considered the greatest Ohio quarterback ever.
That’s a heavy burden to place on a 21-year old, but Tettleton sticks to his values and doesn’t get caught up in the pressure.
“It's great to hear and stuff, but I'm only focused on what's going on here and now,” Tettleton said. “I've always said since I've been here, 'All that goes on the field will take care of itself after the season and after I'm done.' I've never really looked into much of that stuff, but you know, it'd be great.”
Tettleton knows his job is to improve on a daily basis and be a leader for this team.
“That's what I'm striving for, is to get better each day and be the guy that the coaches want me to be,” said Tettleton.
As Tettleton’s season continues to progress, his numbers inch closer to every passing record in Ohio history.
His 4,011 career passing yards are 1,401 yards away from the record set by Sammie Shon in 1981. He is only six passing touchdowns away from Boo Jackson’s all-time record.
He has had great success in Coach Frank Solich’s spread offense, but the humble Tettleton would never take credit for that.
He makes it clear that the credit goes to the other guys around him that “allow (him) to do everything a lot better and make (him) feel comfortable.”
Even though Tettleton is two inches smaller than Favre, the similarities between the two are endless.
Both wore different jersey numbers in high school down south, but were forced to choose number four in college. They’re both scrappy players on the field, but modest guys off.
Favre has 11 NFL records; Tettleton’s creeping towards 11 Ohio records. Both, as Tettleton pointed out, are Wrangler guys.
On the field, Tettleton is a star. His legacy continues to build as he breaks more records and wins more games. Someday, he may very well be the greatest player to ever put on an Ohio Bobcats jersey.
He has also made mistakes. He has made throws that he regrets terribly, which reminds him that he wouldn’t be in the situation without the people around him.
In the end, he remembers he’s human.
Tettleton wakes up and puts on his Wranglers the same way everyone else does, one leg at a time.