Oregon Ducks tight end Colt Lyerla, a junior from Hillsboro High School (Hillsboro, Oregon), enters his third season in the Oregon program.
Before joining the Ducks, Lyerla stared on offense and defense playing everything from running back, tight end, defensive end and linebacker. Lyerla earned three stars from ESPN, four stars from Scout and five stars from Rivals.
Here’s one scouting report on Lyerla:
“One of the most athletic big men in the country, Lyerla has the change of direction of a big wide receiver with the toughness of a linebacker. He has a good enough change of direction, hands, and balance, that he actually returns punts for his team. Very similar as a TE to former Scout #1 TE Aaron Hernandez. A tenacious defender who simply needs to keep putting on good muscle weight, filling out his frame and getting stronger.” – Scott Kennedy
Yeah………. just overlook that Hernandez line.
Lyerla was not only one of the top recruits in the state of Oregon but he was also a widely sought after prospect nationally by many of the nation’s top programs. Lyerla had offers from Arizona, Cal, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Stanford, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington and many other Division 1 programs before signing with the Ducks.
In 2011, Lyerla came in ready to play immediately, not needing a redshirt year to develop. Playing in 12-of-14 games, Lyerla recorded seven catches for 147 yards (21.0 YPC) and five touchdowns. 72% of his catches went for scores. And you thought De’Anthony Thomas was the touchdown machine!
In 2012, Lyerla had an even bigger campaign as a sophomore, taking over the starting duties from David Paulson. Lyerla played in all 13 games, starting in nine, and finished the year with 25 catches for 392 yards (15.7 YPC) with six touchdowns and added another element to his collegiate game: rushing. Lyerla pounded the rock 13 times for 77 yards (5.9 YPC) and had one of the highlights of the season in his lone rushing touchdown.
Lylerla participated in the 2013 Oregon Spring Game, doing the bulk of his contribution early. He caught three passes for 38 yards and had one rush for four yards in the opening quarter, but didn’t record any stats after that.
Going into the 2013 season, Lyerla is on nearly award watch list including the Mackey Award that goes to the nation’s top tight end. In the words of coach John Neal, “What do you do with a guy that’s that big and that fast?” After somewhat underperforming campaigns the last two years, Lyerla looks ready to break out for an all-american type campaign.
With so much talent and raw athleticism, Lyerla could easily see himself as a high pick at the next level. NFL Draft Scout has Lyerla as a projected 2nd-3rd round prospect and the No. 3 overall TE. CBS Sports also has Lylera as the third best prospect at his position. In CBS Sports’ mock draft, one analyst has Lyerla going No. 25 overall in 2014 and the other going No. 32.