I had the pleasure to meet WR Tyler Jackson's parents in Fort Collins at our tailgate. I couldn't have been happier after seeing him make his first catch in the second half for what? "Another Bronco First Down" Here's a little bit more about that interaction and catch. Awesome story.
My friends and I had pulled into the vast parking area which makes up Colorado State's amazing tailgate confines. We emptied the car with all of our bronco flourishes, decorations and entirely too much food. We then decided that we needed to have a picture taken of us and our spot. I spotted a blue and orange clad lady that looked like she needed to take a picture and flagged her down. She came over and was very polite as you would expect anyone to be in her situation, but what happened next is what seperated that camera experience versus any other. I asked her the usual, "You excited for the game?" You could tell she was more than excited. She said, "Yes! Our son is number 15 and this is the first time he's played in Colorado since high school, look out for him." I thought, "Tyler Wha?? She must be a bronco fan that has a son for CSU?" No, come to find out Tyler Jackson, her son, was the "Golden Helmet" winner in the Denver area his senior year, had offers from CSU, Wyoming and UNLV and could have played a lot more foreseeably but he came to BSU because he loved the players and coaches. We hear that a lot, don't we? But this made it a lot more real to see how much this mother loved her son and knew her son was in the best possible situation for him. She said that he never complains about not seeing the field and tells her all the time "The guys are playing better in front of me, but I'm going to try my hardest each day to beat them out." She said in 3 years, they had yet to see a catch from their son, he had recently just moved from safety.
Her and her husband were also staying at the Hilton where the Bronco players were staying and earlier in that day Tyler was sitting in their hotel room with one of his good teammates, Cory Yriarte. "What a tremendously nice person," she said of Cory. She said the hotel phone rang and her husband answered it. It was Coach Prince and he wanted to talk to Tyler. His mother said his face lit up when he was on the phone and after the phone call was over he told his family that he was getting the start at H-Back that day. She said he pulled his playbook out of his backpack and furiously studied it over for about an hour. As we finished our conversation I told her that we'd definitely be looking for Tyler and hoping for that catch. She said "Times running out, he's got to make a catch sooner or later, and after all of these trips to see him play in Boise or wherever, if he does get a catch, I'm not sure what I'll do."
Fast forward to the game. Tyler does come in for 2 offensive plays in the first half. He wasn't thrown to but I believe he was in on one of the TD's that Shoemaker caught. He played on special teams as well. The second half comes and I'm not certain of the exact moment in the game (I need to watch our recording), but I believe Southwick had just entered or Kellen Moore was about to finish. BSU was driving towards the south endzone when Tyler entered the game in the left slot. I told our group to look out for him. It was a simple pass and CATCH! First Down! Our group were the only ones standing and going wild because of the score and flow of the game but I looked down towards the parents and sure enough there they were! She had her arms up clear in the sky, rejoicing like a tremendous weight had just been lifted from her shoulders. Her and her husband couldn't stop embracing and I looked at our group and none of us could really keep it together.
I think we all felt special to have the oppurtunity to be a small part of that moment that wouldn't otherwise be publicized. A great family, a great kid and just one more reason why I never take for granted being a Boise State fan.