BYU Football Adds Prep Basketball Athlete To Busy Offensive Line Room

Jun 24, 2021, 7:52 PM | Updated: Dec 8, 2022, 11:20 am

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Photo Courtesy of BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey

PROVO, Utah – BYU football added another offensive lineman for the 2021 season in Tyler Little. Sounds simple enough, right? But Little’s story is anything but simple.

Little hasn’t played in a football game since the eighth grade.

Tyler Little: From H.S. basketball to BYU Football

During his high school career, the 6-foot-7 Little lettered in basketball at Gridley High School in Northern California. Little averaged 17.1 points and 11.1 rebounds during his senior year. He graduated from Gridley High in 2018 and then served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chile and Houston, Texas.

After returning home from his mission, Little planned to continue his basketball career at Yuba College. With uncertainties surrounding a potential basketball season due to COVID-19, Little had a friend tell him to check out the football program at Butte College. According to Little’s mother, Melanie, “he felt inspired to do so and made the switch” from basketball to football.

“During workouts and practices, Ty started to shine,” wrote his mother in a Facebook post about her son’s commitment to BYU. “As a 6’7”, extremely athletic, offensive line player, Ty’s Butte coaches saw so much raw, natural talent and wanted more for him.

“They sent his practice and scrimmage film to several D1 schools, along with his basketball film from his senior year. Not soon after, Ty started receiving phone calls from schools like Boise State, BYU, the University of Utah, and even Baylor.”

This year, Little didn’t play in any games during Butte’s spring season, but he trained with the Butte Football program while receiving attention from FBS programs on the recruiting trail.

Getting ready to play college football

Once the recruiting dead period concluded, Little took a trip to BYU and received a scholarship offer. Shortly thereafter, he committed to the Cougars.

JUCO football took a similar page out of the NCAA book this past year, granting all student-athletes a free year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Giving Little a full five years to play four at BYU.

This week, Little formally signed his letter of intent to play at BYU during a ceremony at Butte College, where he said he would be traveling this Monday to Provo to begin training with the program.

Little is the third recent addition to BYU’s offensive line. Along with Little, the Cougars also added Snow College’s Cade Parrish and Cooper McMullin from San Marcos High School in California.

BYU football players report to training camp on August 4th, with practices beginning the following day on August 5th.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Football Adds Prep Basketball Athlete To Busy Offensive Line Room