(Original article by Jessica Eubanks, ISU Sports Information)
Pocatello, Idaho – Playing college football was always a goal for Idaho State senior defensive lineman Tyler Kuder. While Kuder had options out of high school, his opportunity to see the field didn’t happen quickly as Idaho State wasn’t Kuder’s first stop in his college football career.
“I signed with University of Idaho out of high school and got accepted to the school but I didn’t get through the NCAA clearing house,” Kuder said. “I just worked that whole year instead of going to Moscow. I was kind of in the dumps. Then I was here in Pocatello, at the Maverick up by the hospital actually, and one of the coaches from Montana Western was there. He offered me a full ride to go play for Montana Western at the gas station.”
Kuder, having redshirted for a year, enjoyed his time at Montana Western but knew that if he stayed there his opportunity to play at a higher level would be slim.
He still had connections with coach Matt Troxel who was a graduate assistant at the University of Idaho when he was being recruited in high school. After considering his options, he decided to come to Pocatello.
“When I came to ISU I had to red shirt again because I wasn’t eligible,” Kuder said. “After three years of not playing in a single game I was finally able to play for ISU.”
Playing college football isn’t only demanding physically but mentally as well.
“There’s not much of a social life for me because if I’m not in class I’m at football,” Kuder said. “And if I’m not doing either of those I want to sleep or I’m doing homework.”
Professionally, he hopes to make it to the combine and get a shot at the pros. If his journey doesn’t venture there, he wants to enroll in the athletic administration masters program at ISU next fall in hopes to become an athletic director.
Kuder played in 11 games in the 2014 season and tallied 56 total tackles. He tied for second on the team in quarterback hurries with four. With 1.5 sacks with a loss of 11 total yards last season, Kuder hopes to come back this year better and ready to achieve his personal and team goals.
Looking forward to the season, Kuder and the defense have high expectations in 2015.
“Overall, to win Big Sky,” he said. “We want to keep teams below 21 points as a defense and keep going undefeated at home for sure. And obviously to make a trip to the national championship.”