Former Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Tyler Anderson coached football for four years in central Florida at Harmony High School. Earlier this week, Anderson shared with BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL his unique perspective about upcoming BYU opponent UCF, his former player O’Neill Chambers, and BYU’s wide receivers.
UCF is a 45 minute drive from Harmony High School. Given the close proximity, UCF coaches visited Anderson’s team annually to recruit. Anderson likes what UCF head coach George O’Leary has done.
Having coached high school football in the Sunshine State, Anderson saw first hand the incredible amount of talent that state has in the prep ranks. Even though UCF isn’t one of the top tier football schools in Florida, Anderson said there is “not a huge drop off” in the caliber of football at a mid-tier Florida school like UCF.
When comparing the overall quality of players between BYU and UCF, Anderson thinks that, “Across the board, UCF has just a good of players.” He gives UCF an edge at the skill positions, while saying BYU is probably better along the offensive and defensive lines and at linebacker.
Anderson is now back in Utah coaching football at his alma mater Orem High School. This has allowed him to keep close contact with one of his former players—beleaguered BYU wide receiver O’Neill Chambers. The Anderson family has Chambers over for dinner approximately once a month. When Chambers was disciplined by BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall a year ago, Anderson was one of the people Chambers talked to about the situation.
Anderson has only heard Chambers’ side of the story, so he didn’t comment about how Chambers was treated. He did say he was impressed that Chambers decided to stay at BYU, and that the BYU coaching staff was surprised he would pay his own way for a year. Anderson thinks Chambers is showing a lot of character with the way he is handling this situation, and Chambers’ former coach has noticed he has “grown up a lot” since he was kicked off the team a year ago.
Currently, Chambers is doing everything he needs to do to be a full fledged member of the BYU football team next year, according to Anderson. Chambers is working hard and he is anxious to be a good teammate.
Chambers and the rest of the receivers caught a lot of criticism in 2010 for their lack of results on the field. As the entire BYU offense has underachieved again in 2011, the scrutiny of Cougar wide outs has continued. Many fans are upset that the receivers aren’t living up to the hype and can’t seem to beat man-to-man coverage.
As a former Cougar wide out himself, Anderson’s advice to the 2011 BYU wide receivers is to keep working hard and to be patient with first year offensive coordinator Brandon Doman. Anderson also says the receivers need to be ready to make plays when they have chances to.
When it comes to man-to-man coverage, Anderson says the secret to beating it depends on how the defensive back plays it. If the defensive back is playing deep man, then the wide receiver needs to press the defender and make him decide what he is going to do. Pressing the defensive back requires the wide receiver to come off the ball hard. Wide receivers need to wait until they are on top of the defensive back to make their move.
Cougar nation has been enamored with Ross Apo and Cody Hoffman’s 6’3” and 6’4” frames, respectively. When compared with the elite wide receivers in college football, Hoffman and Apo aren’t as bulky as their counterparts. Alshon Jeffrey at South Carolina is 6’4” and 233 pounds. Michael Floyd at Notre Dame is 6’3” and 227 pounds. Justin Blackmon at Oklahoma State is 6’1” and 215 pounds. Apo is listed at 202 and Hoffman at 205. Would an extra 20-30 pounds help Hoffman and Apo? Anderson replied, “Weight isn’t a huge thing,” but he did add, “It won’t hurt to put on weight if they can keep their speed.”
It won’t hurt BYU’s chances of beating UCF if Hoffman and Apo have big nights.
Leaving other opportunities hasn’t appeared to hurt Anderson. In his first year at Orem High School, his Tigers are 2-0 in Region 8. They play Springville, Friday, September 23, 2011, 7 PM.
The complete Orem High School football schedule can be found here.
Learn more about Tyler Anderson the man and his BYU career by reading his Past Player Profile.
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