Tyler Conklin (#83) played a season and a half at Central Michigan University. Conklin started his Central Michigan career as a walk on trying to make a name for himself. After making the team he started off as a wide receiver before transitioning over to a tight end. During that year and a half span he broke the records in all time receiving yards among tight ends and most career touchdowns among tight ends.
Many people don’t realize this, but Conklin started his collegiate career playing basketball at Northwood University. Throughout high school Conklin mainly played basketball and didn’t play football until his senior year. However, Northwood was his first and only collegiate offer coming out of high school. Coming out of his freshmen season of basketball at Northwood, Conklin explains how, “he felt like he under shot himself and should’ve been playing basketball at a higher level.” Conklin decided to reach out to Central Michigan who looked at him a little bit for football during the recruiting process in high school. Conklin explained how Coach Cummings, “told him to walk on in the spring but was not guaranteed a spot in the fall because of the 105 man roster rule.” Walking on in the spring he started as a wide receiver but moved to defensive end the last week of spring camp. The team had then asked him to come back to camp in the fall as a tight end.
Due to playing basketball as a true freshman at Northwood he lost a year of eligibility to play football at Central Michigan. He also lost another year and a half of playing football at Central Michigan due to the transfer rule. In his first year of eligibility, his junior year, Conklin appeared in 13 games making 11 starts. Throughout the season he totaled 560 receiving yards, 42 receptions, and was second on the team for touchdowns with 6. Due to those stats Conklin was named Central Michigan University’s Newcomer of the Year. Reflecting back on this season Conklin said, “it was time to get on the scene and start for a whole season and have a productive year and then kind of get to where I wanted to be for senior year.” Breaking his foot the first week of camp senior year set him back from where he wanted to be. This injury marked his first major career injury. Coming back after missing 5 weeks due to injury Conklin appeared and started 8 games senior year. Throughout his senior season he had 35 receptions for 504 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Conklin has spent time preparing himself in Florida to play in the senior bowl. He is preparing himself to play against the top seniors from the Power 5 conferences. Conklin mentions how, “basically I had to go to the senior bowl and play against the top seniors from the Power 5 as well as other schools too, to prove that I can play with the Power 5 and that the MAC is a good conference too.” Along with preparing for the senior bowl he is also getting his times down so that he can get the opportunity to compete in the NFL combine.