Tierney to be a Humboldt Lumberjack
The consensus among Paul Tierney’s coaches and teammates is that the standout Truckee High quarterback will do just fine competing against the big boys of college football.
“All he needs is an opportunity to show what he can do,” said Truckee High football coach and athletic director Bob Shaffer. “He’s still a diamond in the rough. But he’ll be a great addition to any football program.”
Tierney found out over spring break that he’ll be joining Humboldt State’s football program, where he was invited as a walk-on.
“I was kind of shaky at first because I was expecting more offers,” Tierney said of accepting Humboldt coach Doug Adkins’ offer. “But I thought about it and decided it was what I wanted to do.”
Tierney, who also was the point guard on the basketball team and is the shortstop on the baseball team, said he was beginning to think he wasn’t going to receive any offers.
“I always wanted to (play football after high school),” Tierney said. “But after I wasn’t getting any calls, I kind of thought about playing baseball. By late April I thought my hopes were up.”
Tierney ” the Northern 3A offensive player of the year in 2004, with 2,086 passing yards and 24 touchdowns ” said he’ll redshirt his freshman year and work on his quickness and strength in the offseason, as well as his footwork both in and out of the pocket.
Senior Jamie Maehler, the Wolverines’ record-breaking receiver who signed a letter of intent to play at the U.S. Military Academy next year, said he will miss his friend and high school quarterback.
“It made my job a lot easier having [Tierney] as quarterback,” Maehler said. “I like the way Paul threw it up to me nice and easy and right there. He was the man. It was great having him at QB. He’s a leader. Someone to lean on.”
In Shaffer’s eyes, Tierney’s strength is his leadership ability, although the coach listed a slew of other strong points.
“He’s one of those quarterbacks that, once he gets in the huddle, he demands respect,” Shaffer said. “He really takes charge. He understands the game of football, and he is real coachable. And he can throw the ball down the field, as well as on short routes. He’s just a good athlete, period.
“It’s hard to put into words how highly I feel of Paul and what he has meant to our football program.”
Tierney said although Shaffer and Truckee High football will be greatly missed, he’s ready for college ball.
“I’ll miss the sports,” Tierney said of Truckee. “But I’m excited to move on to the next level and see how challenging it is. I’ll miss coach Shaffer, too. He’s a good guy. He always had confidence in me.”
Truckee High baseball coach Mike Ellis also has confidence in his shortstop, who is batting .414 so far this season.
“Paul is nails all the way around,” Ellis said. “He absorbs everything you tell him. And his arm strength is incredible. He’s just a great athlete overall. He’s a winner. I like that kid a lot.”
Tierney conceded to being a bit on edge about the new experience.
“I’m pretty nervous, but I’m excited, too,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to prove something to the coaches.”