Truckee’s Hyland to play football at Linfield College
Returning Northern 3A quarterbacks can rest easier knowing Truckee defensive end Evan Hyland wont be driving their facemasks into the turf in 2008.Because in 2007 the senior terrorized opposing QBs, constantly forcing himself into their personal space, delivering resounding pops and disrupting plays before they began. He was rewarded handsomely for his efforts with post-season accolades.This fall Hyland will try to emulate that success as one of 47 incoming freshmen at Division III powerhouse Linfield College (Ore.).I think hell do well; he has the potential, said Truckee head coach Bob Shaffer, describing Hyland as a quick and fundamentally sound player who works tirelessly to get around offensive linemen.One of the Wolverines fastest players, Hyland earned first team All-League and first team All-State recognition this past season at defensive end, where he led the team with seven sacks. The senior recorded 62 tackles 32 solo, 30 assisted while forcing a fumble and recovering a fumble and missing just nine tackles all season. Also a part-time offensive lineman, Hyland was one of 100 players in Northern Nevada selected to play in the Sertoma Football Classic all-star game on June 20.Hes got several strengths, Shaffer said, but if I had to narrow it down, Id say its his ability to defeat offensive linemen because of his speed and technique.He usually puts on a short, quick move, slaps his hand down and is around them.But at 6-1 and 170 pounds undersized for a defensive lineman Hyland was told by Linfield coaches that hell likely be moved to safety, where he can better take advantage of his speed. Thats fine by him.Im going to be humble about it and play wherever they want me, said Hyland, who will live on campus his freshman year and major in political science. His goal in the sport is to help lead the Wildcats to a fifth national championship.Im just really excited to go to school with such a (football) tradition, Hyland said.Located in McMinnville about 30 miles southwest of Portland, Linfield a member of the Northwest Conference holds the national record for longest streak of winning seasons at any level, having just finished its 52nd consecutive season above .500. The Wildcats won the Division III national championship in 2004 and have three previous championships at the NAIA level.The school also is known for its rigorous academics. Its ranked 122nd nationally among liberal arts schools by U.S. News. Ill focus on (academics) just as much as football, said Hyland, who pulled off a 3.7 GPA at Truckee and said he is not concerned about making the grade at the next level.That leads directly to another of Hylands strengths.Hes very coachable, very smart. He picks up on things fast, Shaffer said, adding that Hyland leads by example on the field. He brings his lunch box and goes to work.Asked what were his fondest memories of high school football, Hyland said All four years playing with my teammates, just that camaraderie. And being able to be on a great team with a great coaching staff.Sun News Service sports editor Joey Crandall contributed to this report
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