Tyler Van Tubbergen won't have far to go next year. The Holland West Ottawa quarterback committed to Western Michigan recently. Kalamazoo is a short drive down US-31 from his home town, but this decision was about much more than saving on travel expenses.
"I think the school has a lot to offer and location was another bonus to it," Van Tubbergen explained, "I think it Western, even it they had been in a different area that wasn't so close, I still would have went there. I like the coaches and everything about it."
Last season, his first as a starter, Van Tubbergen passed for over 1800 yards and 13 touchdowns. Ryan Hockman, the owner of Precision Football has worked with top quarterbacks around the midwest. He had Tyler at several of his sessions this summer and came away impressed.
"What I liked about him were two things," Hockman said, "He's young for his class and his dad's like 6'5. He might not be as tall as his dad, but he's going to grow, he's going to be big. He has a quick release. Some guys get caught up in a high, perfect release, but the more you talk to NFL guys, you find they're a lot more concerned with the quickness of it."
Van Tubbergen is also a fine student in the classroom, holding a 3.6 grade point average. While many recruits are concerned with early playing time, he says he may prefer to take things slowly once he gets to Kalamazoo.
"I don't know if this is commin, but I think I would almost like to go there and redshirt," he admitted, "that would give me more time to fit in with the guys and understand the offense more. It would buy me some time to comeback and play the next year."
Hockman thinks that transition from high school to college will be easy for a player with the intangibles Tyler has.
"He is a highly intelligent, hard working kid," he said, "and he makes a lot of plays on film."
He also is a team leader, which is vital for a quarterback and now that recruiting is out of the way, 100% of his efforts can be focused on leading the Panthers to a successful season.
"I can concentrate on being with my teammates and having a good year for West Ottawa. All my concentration is on our team and our season and that's a big reason why I made that decision right now."