July 25, 2014

Elyria
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St. Edward lineman and Lorain resident Tyler King picks Bowling Green

It would seem that growing up in Lorain, falling in love with football and going on to play for a Division I program would qualify as the path less traveled.

But that route is well worn when it comes to the King household.

Tyler King, who will be a senior at St. Edward this fall, made his oral commitment to play defensive tackle at Bowling Green State University, becoming a third-generation major college football player.

“My grandfather played for West Virginia, and my father went to St. Edward and Bowling Green, too,” King said. “I grew up hearing all about football, so I started playing when I was in the fourth grade and I never looked back.”

King, who plays right guard and defensive tackle for the Eagles, received scholarship offers from Akron, Ball State, BGSU, Kent State, Massachusetts, Ohio and Toledo. He narrowed the list to Ohio and Bowling Green, and made his final decision days after visiting the Bobcats’ campus in Athens.

“Bowling Green has the best locker room, weight room and facilities around,” he said. “The coaches seemed to really care about me, and they told me things that I liked to hear. It was just a great fit for me.”

King played for the St. Joseph CYO football team in Amherst until the eighth grade, then he was stuck with another big decision … where to attend high school.

“I had a few friends in Lorain, but most of them went to Elyria Catholic or other Catholic schools,” King said. “So I really had it down to St. Edward and Padua. I talked to the (St. Edward) coach (Rick Finotti) and he’s one of the main reasons I’m where I am today as far as my football career.”

It also helped that Tyler’s father, Dan, starred at St. Edward on the football field and the wrestling mats. Dan King only played football in college, but he’s also known for being the last heavyweight state wrestling champion (1995) at St. Edward.

“My parents didn’t really pressure me one way or the other,” Tyler said. “But I’m glad I decided to go to St. Edward.”

It’s been a familiar sentiment recently from Lorain County players, as fellow Lorain resident Solomon Warfield will play at Iowa next season and North Ridgeville residents Andrew and David Dowell have already received Division I offers.

“We’re all very blessed,” King said. “We’re all very proud of where we came from and what we’ve accomplished.”

Those accomplishments include a Division I state championship during King’s freshman season, as well as regional semifinal appearances the past two seasons. He expects the Eagles to be in the hunt for another state title in six months.

“Our entire offensive line is returning and we have a lot of speed and strength on the outside,” King said. “I just don’t see why we shouldn’t be a contender and a top choice for anybody.”

Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or sbennett@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him @ShaunBennettct on Twitter.