Thomas Tyner

Thomas Tyner a luxury for Oregon State's already strong running game

Thomas Tyner a luxury for Oregon State's already strong running game

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - Former Oregon running back Thomas Tyner, making a comeback with Oregon State, is not yet the running back he was while with the Ducks in 2014. 

“He’s gained some weight but our weight room coaches have done a good job of getting him into shape,” OSU senior linebacker Manase Hungalu said Wednesday at Pac-12 Media Days. 

Tyner is listed at 232 pounds on OSU's website, up 17 from the 215 he played at for the Ducks before his 2015 ended following preseason shoulder surgery.  

“Thomas is a great addition,” junior RB Ryan Nall said. “He’s got to be back into the flow of things. It’s kind of hard after being out of the game for two years and jumping back in.”

Tyner is not carrying blubber, according to Nall. The former Aloha High School star has simply bulked up beyond the ideal weight for him to take advantage of his speed that made him a 6A champion in the 100 meters while at Aloha. Nall said Tyner definitely appeared to be a bit rusty and slow during the team's first practice this earlier week.

“But he’s still got it," Nall said. "Once he chips that rust off and gets back into it, I think he’ll do good things for us.”

Tyner played at Oregon in 2013 and 2014 before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery prior to the 2015 season. Rather than return to the Ducks in 2016, Tyner elected to retire. Now he's got the itch to return to the field. The way his medical retirement was written didn't allow for him to return to Oregon. Tyner had considered going to OSU out of high school so heading to the Beavers was a natural fit.  

"I definitely missed it," Tyner told reporters Tuesday in Corvallis. "I think it's just more excited than anything. I'm excited to get to play this season." 

Hungalu said he definitely saw flashes of the old Tyner during that first practice. 

“He did a good job running the ball,” Hungalu said. “He looked how he looked at Oregon, which is a good thing for us.”

It will be interesting to see how Tyner fits in. He had a productive career at UO but Nall is the man for the Beavers.

Tyner said he expects to learn a lot from Nall in terms of operating within the Beavers' offense. For Tyner, returning is more about erasing the prospects of always wondering what he could have done next on the football field than it is about being the guy. 

"Once you're about ready to be done with school and you have to figure out what you want to do with your life and I don't like living with 'what ifs," he said. "I felt like the 'what if' was football with me. I didn't want to go out how I did, medically retiring. I felt like I owed it to myself."

Former Oregon RB Thomas Tyner making comeback with Oregon State

Tyner.jpg
USA Today

Former Oregon RB Thomas Tyner making comeback with Oregon State

Former Oregon running back Thomas Tyner, who left the Ducks' program following the 2015 season, will return to football with Oregon State, his father, John Tyner confirmed today.

The news was first reported by The Oregonian

Tyner, who according to his father is two credits shy of graduating from Oregon, will have one year of eligibility remaining. He played for Oregon in 2013 and 2014 before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery prior to the 2015 season. Rather than return to the Ducks in 2016, Tyner elected to retire. 

Now 100 percent healthy and still possessing the speed that made him a state track champion and a five-star recruit coming out of Aloha High School, Tyner, 22, has decided to return to football. 

John Tyner said that the way Oregon wrote the medical retirement paper work made it so that Thomas could not return to Oregon. The irony of him landing with OSU is that Tyner flirted with the idea of going to Oregon State coming out of high school before ultimately honoring his oral commitment to the Ducks. 

"I've wanted to be a Beaver my whole life," Thomas Tyner told The Oregonian.

Tyner last played football during Oregon's 42-20 loss to Ohio State in the national championship game on Jan. 12, 2015.  He was still recovering from a serious shoulder injury suffered on Oct. 18, 2014 against Washington. Tyner returned three weeks later and played well the rest of the season, peaking with a 124-yard, two-touchdown performance during Oregon's 59-20 win over Florida State in the Rose Bowl. Tyner finished that season with 573 yards and five touchdowns. He rushed for 711 and nine scores as a freshman in 2013. 

Tyner's shoulder never healed properly and surgery ended his 2015 season before it began. Six months later, it appeared that his football career had also ended. Now he is back with rival Oregon State. 

The Beavers could have one of the best backfields in the Pac-12 with Tyner and junior Ryan Nall, who last season rushed for 951 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Tyner, a speed back with size at about 210 pounds, will provide the perfect compliment to the bruising style of Nall, who is 6-2, 234 pounds. Nall is hard-charging freight train of a back that rolled over the Ducks for 155 yards and four scores during last season's Civil War victory for the Beavers. 

Nall and Tyner going up against UO running back Royce Freeman and company would make for quite the show during this season's Civil War. 

"He got better and started thinking about returning," John Tyner said about his son. "Thomas basically dances to the beat of his own drummer. He isn't in it for the glory. He just wanted to see what it would be like to finish up his career."