Judging by his performance on Wednesday's Steele 7on7, held in Cibolo, Texas, it's a surprise to hear that San Antonio (Tex.) Reagan athlete Ty Summers had a difficult journey en route to his current position.
The 6-foot-2, 208-pounder was evidently comfortable on the field, though his junior season may not have panned out as he had once hoped.
"I played the first few games like a wildcat receiver, more as an athlete. Our starting quarterback got hurt so I came in full time, but I broke my collar bone and was out for eight weeks. I recovered and got to help a little at the end of the season.
"It was a rough turn of events. I had started rehabbing and eventually got to put the pads, but had just a few plays of practice. Our other quarterback got hurt again in playoffs, so I came in. I had some big plays and some bad plays, so I'm trying to shake off the season. I'm looking toward the future," he said.
For any college prospect, especially a quarterback, suffering from a broken collarbone during junior year could potentially be described as a recruiting nightmare.
However, Summers relied on his faith throughout the difficult situation. In June, his patience paid off with the opportunity to camp at Rice.
"Last summer, I attended their camp as a quarterback and they got my grades and showed interest. But after junior season, I didn't know. Then, after spring practice, I started getting some emails and I asked for a visit. I camped the next day," he said.
Summers embraced the opportunity and after a strong performance, received some good news.
"I think they had planned on offering me if I did well, and I got an offer after camp. I was pretty excited. In my heart, I was committing on the spot, but I wanted to be patient, think about it.
"I waited about forty-five minutes, and then I called them back and committed," he laughed.
Just over a week after committing, Summers remains ecstatic about-and appreciative for-the opportunity.
"It's a blessing" he said. "It's all God. After I broke my collar bone, I thought, 'there's no chance.' But God had a plan and a purpose; he gave me the chance to lead my team and have the opportunity to play for Rice."
Though he may not be one to take credit, Summers' talent and versatility on the field played a big role in nabbing the offer.
"They have me listed as an athlete. They told me that they like my speed because I ran a 4.5 at their camp, and they like my size. I did some running back and wide receiver drills and said they know I can throw the ball, so they recruited me as an athlete, but said that if I can do well at quarterback, they will give me the chance there, as well," he said.
Summers says he's looking forward to the chance to see the field, regardless of postion.
"I love having the ball in my hands, so whether that is quarterback, running back, or receiver, I just want to help the team. I think my best talents are my strength, speed, and running ability. I also have a strong arm, so I can make a play last and confuse the defense. But I'm more of a team person; I don't want to be selfish, I want to do what the team needs," he said.
In addition to joining the football team, the prospect is also looking forward to the academic opportunities that Rice will provide.
"I've always respected Rice. Their academic program is especially what got me. I was looking at Ivy League schools, too, but when I saw Rice's campus, I thought 'if they offer me, I'm going to commit.' It's a beautiful campus, the academics are superb, and it's Division-I football. You can't get much better than that," he said.
The athlete plans to take his official visit in December or January, likely accompanied by teammate Kash Knutson, a receiver for the Rattlers.
With his commitment now behind him, Summers is looking forward to his senior season and now healthy, the chance to play to his full potential.
"It was a great feeling knowing I would be the starter. I had so much more confidence coming into spring practices. I have a lot of energy and I'm ready to show people what I can do," he said.
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