EL PASO, Texas — All El Paso Montwood wide receiver Tyreese Andrus wanted was a chance.
As one of the most dynamic wide receivers in the Sun City, he put up strong numbers: 66 catches, 1,590 yards and 22 touchdowns which earned him an All-State Honorable Mention. His play helped lead the Rams to a 10-2 record, a share of the District 1-6A title and the team’s first postseason win since 2011.
The recognition in the form of offers didn’t come as quickly as he thought it would, holding only one other Division I offer from UTEP prior to this past week.
It changed when Andrus was offered by new head coach Eric Morris at The University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. On Monday, he took the jump and made his commitment to the Cardinals, crediting the relationship with new head coach Eric Morris and his staff.
As my senior year comes to an end… I finally made my decision to where I’ll be attending the next four years 🔴⚫️🏈 pic.twitter.com/4UUTnVGjiV
— ℜ𝔦𝔫𝔦 (@LUVMIRINI) January 16, 2018
“I like the new coaching staff out there,” Andrus said, “When Coach (Eric) Morris left Texas Tech to take the job at Incarnate Word, I was excited. Once I received an offer, I felt like it was an opportunity that I just had to take.”
Morris previously served under Kliff Kingsbury as his offensive coordinator from the 2013 season and built on the reputation of a high-flying spread offense with the Red Raiders.
As he brings over that same system to San Antonio, that opportunity to play in an offense that showcases that ability was intriguing for Andrus.
“The thing with Coach Morris is that he knows the (wide receiver) position,” Andrus said, “He’s coached a lot of players that I’ve looked up to such as Jakeem Grant and Keke Coutee. He knows how to get those kind of players to the next level and I feel like that he could do the same with me. I’m really looking forward to it.”
His head coach, Ariel Famaligi, also sees that the high-flying spread system is a good fit for Andrus.
“It’s a perfect situation for him,” Famaligi said, “He’s always wanted to play in a system that showcases his ability to catch the ball, run routes and move all over the field. He’s very excited to play in that Air Raid offense.”
The star receiver also credits other local connections in making sure that UIW was the right fit, one of them being former El Paso Parkland head coach Josh Kirkland.
“I loved the fact that Coach Kirkland knew what I could do as a player,” Andrus spoke of Kirkland, “I feel like El Paso has a lot of players that go under the radar and it was comfortable talking with him.”
He also credits Famaligi, a former UTEP offensive lineman, for helping him through the recruiting process.
“He’s done so much for all of us,” Andrus said of his head coach, “He’s opened up a lot of doors for me by just talking about his college experience and preparing me mentally for what I need to be ready for.”
“We never worried about the recruiting process becoming a distraction to Ty,” Famaligi said, “He’s a very level-headed kid and he keeps his eyes on what’s important. He’s handled everything very maturely.”
Even when the offers weren’t coming at the rate that some had expected, his head coach sees him using that oversight as motivation throughout his college career.
“For a guy with that kind of talent, the recruiting process was kind of slow,” Famaligi said, “Everything happens for a reason and we talk about it all the time. He’s very faith-based and he believes that God has a plan for him. It’s just a relief on my part that the plan is starting to materialize now and I’m glad to see him getting the shot that he did because he is very deserving.”
Tony Venegas is an assistant editor with TexasHSFootball, covering prep football in the El Paso region and collegiate and professional football throughout the state. Follow him on Twitter,@advenegas, and read more of his content here.
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