A lot was made of former Chaparral football standout Tyler Whiley’s decision to “Stay True to ASU” being the first major recruit from the valley to commit to Todd Graham since he took over as the Sun Devils‘ Head Coach.
Now, he resides in tempe no longer as an ASU commit, but a member of the program rocking the number 17. He has only been on campus for a couple months and already will take a step back to realize that he has arrived.
“All this time,” he said. “I sit back and think, it came so fast. Just the other day, I was talking about how I just committed to ASU and things came by so fast. My high school career is over and now just transitioning into college.”
With this transition currently taking place, Whiley talks about what has been the biggest adjustment.
“Just kind of being on my own,” he explained. “The coaches here hold you to a higher standard, especially to do things on their own and be the best every day and work hard.”
“In high school, you had to work hard but sometimes you could take plays off,” Whiley added. “But not here. Not here you cant do that.”
Whiley was brought on to ASU with the athlete tag having the ability to play on either side of the ball and that has still been the case with the reps he is getting in practice. A lot of people who watched him in high school may have thought offense would have been where he would land first because of his incredible ability to make plays with the ball in his hands for the Firebirds. But in the eyes of the coaching staff, it is quite the contrary.
“When I chose ASU, they told me I could have a chance on either side of the ball,” Whiley mentioned. “Coach Graham said I could be a good third down nickel guy. I just kind of waited out to see if that would be an option. He approached me about getting some corner reps in and I thought I did pretty good. I am moving up in the rotation and am getting more reps.”
While Whiley was going through the recruiting process in high school, many thought the University of Arizona may be the front runner because of his close relationship with Chaparral teammate Trevor Wood. Wood’s father and older brother have played for the Wildcats and with Whiley spending so much time around the Wood family, he may follow suit with his close friend as well.
But Whiley chose the path that in his eyes was best for him. With his buddy Trevor now suited up for the Wildcats, the two are now rivals.
“We still do talk a little bit just seeing how he is doing and how he is liking it down there,” stated Whiley. “But yeah we are rivals now and we will see how that goes once we play them the last game of the season and see how our friendship is after that.”