Hard to believe, but we are officially under 90 days until the Broncos storm the Capital to take on the Hokies. As you may remember, last summer we embarked on the Herculean task of counting down a different roster spot for each remaining day until kickoff. Well, I burned out after about 30 days and the countdown was spotty at best until the Ducks rolled into town. I've recommitted myself this offseason however, and I'm shooting for 100 percent this time around.
We've got 89 days until kickoff...so today we'll be taking a look at number 89 on the Bronco roster—Tyler Shoemaker
#89, Tyler Shoemaker, Junior, WR
Weight: 207 lbs.
High School: Mountain View High School, Meridian, ID
How'd he get to The Blue™?
Hopped on the connector and walked-on. After a stellar career that earned him 8 individual letters, and a first-team All-State nod his senior year, Shoemaker set out to make a name for himself at camps around the region. Unfortunately, Shoe found the recruiting trail somewhat unforgiving and failed to land any serious scholarship consideration (though he considered plenty of options). In the end, the local kid chose to head up the road to try to get the Broncos to take notice of his skills. Long story short—they noticed, as did Bronco fans as the new "Shoe" became the offensive star of scrimmage after scrimmage. Shoemaker was put on scholarship just before the 2008 season.
Shoe [sh oo]
This is an inherited nickname passed down from on high and Derek Schouman. Prolonged calls of "SHOOOOOE" must follow any Shoemaker gains and the "Shoe Salute" may be given. The Shoe Salute is performed by taking of one's right shoe and holding it aloft as long as the cheers last.
Named to the All-WAC academic team as a redshirt freshman. 56-yard TD pass from Kellen Moore in first ever action. Caught four passes for 105 yards against Bowling Green in 2009.
Hernia ended 2009 season prematurely.
Shoemaker is a bit of an enigma, really. Sometimes he looks like one of the bigger weapons at Kellen Moore's disposal and a terror for opposing defenses (see: Bowling Green, 2009)—other times, he fades into the background like those pesky camouflaged Bronco jerseys. It's a tad frustrating, even Shoe himself must think so. Obviously he's not a speed threat like Titus Young...nor does he possess the hands or route-running of Austin Pettis, but I think it's unfair to expect him to produce on the level of two of the best receivers in the country. Shoemaker is a dependable role player who does his job with little fanfare, and is a very capable possession receiver and downfield blocker when called upon. The problem for Shoemaker might just be that he's not flashy like some of the other Bronco wideouts, and that anonymity often gets mistaken for poor play or lack of effort. Shoemaker, I think, will come back to the field in 2010 with something to prove. He proved to the coaches his redshirt year that he deserved a scholarship...now he just needs to prove to them that he deserves to start at the H over Kirby Moore, who came on strong in the latter part of 2009 when Shoe was struggling with injuries. With true freshman Matt Miller coming in to push them both, look for a strong Fall out of the duo as their feet are held to the flame a bit. The competition will ultimately push Shoemaker to even greater heights. Look for him to show more flashes of the form that we saw last year at Bowling Green and in numerous scrimmages on The Blue.
Completely made up fact
Shoemaker doesn't actually make the shoes...tiny elves do at night.