2010's New Stars - Iowa S Tyler Sash
Iowa S Tyler Sash
Iowa S Tyler Sash
Posted Mar 23, 2010

Who are the top players you need to know about going into 2010? Richard Cirminiello profiles Iowa S Tyler Sash.

Spring Preview 2010

The Players You Need To Know

Tyler Sash, S Iowa

By Richard Cirminiello 

12 New Superstars You Must Know About
- Boston College LB Luke Kuechly
- Connecticut RB Jordan Todman 
- Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas
- Houston WR James Cleveland
- Navy QB Ricky Dobbs
- Temple RB Bernard Pierce
- TCU LB Tank Carder
- California RB Shane Vereen
- Kentucky WR Randall Cobb
- North Texas RB Lance Dunbar
- Nevada DE Dontay Moch 

Who is Tyler Sash? … It would be convenient to suggest that Sash has been fortunate to have 11 interceptions as Iowa's starting strong safety. It would also be inaccurate.

Yes, most of Sash' picks have floated into his arms, like a baby being cradled by its mother. Rarely has the two-year starter had to scale tall builds or go vertical to the ground in order to generate a turnover. Yet, that's one of the things that's helped make him so special. He doesn't have to perform the spectacular to be a playmaker of the Hawkeye defense. Preparation and sharp instincts ensure that he's in the right place to pick off that overthrown pass and pluck that batted ball out of the air.

In many ways, Sash is the epitome of Iowa football. Only offered scholarships to play for the state's two FBS schools, he possesses the toughness, want-to, and athleticism to quickly emerge into one of the Big Ten's premier defenders. A starter and a Freshman All-American in his 2008 debut, the game began to slow down and he really turned the corner as a sophomore, earning a spot on the all-conference first team. Although he'll step up and deliver the payload in run defense, he's earned his stripes with all of those interceptions and batted balls in pass defense. Last Halloween's miracle 86-yard interception return for a touchdown that fueled a comeback win over Indiana was a 15-second microcosm of what Sash means to this Hawkeye program.

Is it better to be lucky than good? Nah. In Sash's world, you make your own luck, and good fortune has been smiling on him ever since he became a fixture in that Iowa secondary at the beginning of the 2008 season.

Tyler Sash's best game so far was … last September's 35-3 blowout of Iowa State. Boy, is Sash a four-letter word in Ames or what? For the second straight year, he came up big against the Hawkeyes' in-state rival, making 10 tackles, two for loss, forcing a fumble, and picking off three passes. Being around this rivalry as a kid and nearly becoming a Cyclone following high school, this MVP effort was especially sweet for Sash.

Why should you care about Tyler Sash? … He is the embodiment of what it means to be an Iowa Hawkeye. While not the biggest, fastest, or most heavily recruited coming out of Oskaloosa (IA) High School, he's quickly become one of the nation's premier safeties. Johnny-on-the-spot when the Iowa D needs a game-changing play, he'll defend the pass with the same intensity that he defends the run. A Freshman All-American in his debut and an All-Big Ten first teamer a year ago, he'll be one of the cornerstones of that underrated Iowa defense for the next two seasons.

Positives about Tyler Sash … More than anything else, Sash has tremendous awareness for his position on the field, especially for a player with just two years of experience. He's usually in the right place at the right time, and when he's not, has the motor and the speed to play catch up. At 6-1 and 210 pounds, he has the size and physicality to support the run, but is most dangerous roaming around centerfield in pass defense. A ball-hawk, with the hands of a receiver, he has outstanding vision in the open field and more interception return yards than any player in Iowa history.

Negatives about Tyler Sash … While Sash is a very good athlete, he doesn't possess elite athleticism for a safety. He won't remind you of, say, an Eric Berry at the position, but then again, who does, right? He's not the smoothest or most fluid athletically, needing to work on his back-pedal, and could get exposed if forced into too many man coverage situations.

A cool thing about Tyler Sash you probably didn't know … An outstanding basketball player in high school, Sash fielded offers to play hoops at Nebraska, Iowa State, and Drake, and had dreams of playing two sports in Iowa City. In fact, his first exposure with Hawkeye head coach Kirk Ferentz was during a junior high basketball tournament. Ferentz was in the stands to watch son James in a game Sash dominated with 36 points.

Career Statistics
2008: 53 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions, and 11 passes defended
2009: 85 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, six interceptions, 12 passes defended, and two forced fumbles