Tuesday , October 10, 2017 - 5:58 PM
In this September 2014 photo, Roy High quarterback Tyler Skidmore carries the ball in a game against Logan. Skidmore returned from an LDS mission in August and has committed to a football scholarship at Southern Utah University.
ROY — When the clock hit 0:00 in the 4-A football championship Nov. 21, 2014, at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Roy senior quarterback Tyler Skidmore had 42 starts and a 12-1 final-season record to his name — but no college scholarship offers.
Nearly three years later, the poised right-hander finally got one and is committed to play at Southern Utah University. He announced his commitment Monday night.
“I couldn’t be more excited to go there,” Skidmore said Tuesday. “They’re an up-and-coming program, they’ve done really well in the past in the Big Sky ... having that level of competition is exciting.”
The wait included a two-year LDS mission to Columbus, Ohio. Just weeks before he returned home in August, an email became manna from heaven.
It was Southern Utah offensive coordinator Justin Walterscheid, who previously recruited Skidmore three years ago, saying the Thunderbirds needed another quarterback.
Skidmore went to Cedar City and watched SUU beat No. 18 Northern Iowa in September. He then took his official visit Oct. 7, where he had “a really good experience” sitting in on team meetings.
Now, he’s a T-Bird. He’ll enroll at Southern Utah for the spring semester, which starts in January.
Until then, Skidmore will finish what he started just days after returning from Ohio in August: lifting weights and coaching Roy High’s quarterbacks.
He’s been on the practice field helping Fred Fernandes tutor freshman signal-caller Jaxson Dart, which he says helps bring back the mental acumen of being a quarterback.
“At practice, during film, looking at coverages, thinking through what I would do in that situation ... coaching is helping,” he said.
Before Roy’s 2014 run, Fernandes praised Skidmore’s football IQ, saying he could add more than a dozen new plays every week with no problems, and, that “he knows when I screw up and knows how to fix it without even skipping a beat.”
As for the weight room, an intentionally lean missionary diet led Skidmore to lose about 25 pounds, he said, of which he’s regained about 15.
Entering his senior year at Roy, he said a Weber State assistant told him he could tell other schools at camps, “I have an offer from Weber State.” But by the time the season ended, contact with the WSU staff had all but vanished.
He was upset and confused with how it played out, but said he gives Weber State coaches the benefit of the doubt. Still, the fact the two programs are rivals isn’t lost on him.
“Now, with the fit down at SUU, they play Weber State each year,” Skidmore said. “That will be fun — competing against Weber State to see how things go.”
With no incumbent starter returning for the Thunderbirds, Skidmore will begin competing for the quarterback job in spring camp.
“My plan is to go in and work my tail off and get that starting position,” he said. “It will take time, but I’ll be down there for five months before spring ball starts ... just focusing on lifting, getting in shape and getting the offense down. I think I have an advantage that way to compete for the starting job.
“Once I’m officially on the team, that will be my No. 1 goal, to get the starting job and make sure we have a good team going into next fall.”