This past offseason the Westminster University football program had quite a successful recruiting class that was highlighted by the signing of 41 new athletes that will begin their athletic careers with the team starting this fall.
This includes Mexico's Jon Grubb and Matthew Huffman, as well as out of state players Matt Allen from Texas, Robert Anthony and Kyle Matuszczak from Illinois and Mchigan's Garrett Colston. Among those 37 players native to Missouri was also a running back named Tyler Dorman from Centralia who originally was projected to play for a slightly larger learning institution, but ended up at Westminster due to circumstances outside of his control.
"Tyler had a very important role on our team, but blew his ACL in game sux at hgome against Mexico in the first series and missed the second half of the season. We were 5-0 with Tyler healthy." said Centralia head football coach Jim Newstead. After Tyler got hurt we hit the hardest part of our schedule and with out him we were much more predictable on offense. With out him we went 2-5 in the second part of the season. Like I said, this was in part due to our schedule was a bit tougher, too."
As a Panther Dorman was not just a starting running back, but he was also a starting linebacker. Add to that his duties as starting punter and he truly was a triple threat for Centralia before his final season was cut short against the Bulldogs in non-league action.
Because he can do so much on the gridiron that should work in Dorman's favor because Westminster doesn't treat it's talent like a fine wine and leave it on a shelf to breathe before putting it to use at some undetermined point in the future. Instead, Blue Jays head coach John Welty is looking first and foremost for the guys who can help his team right now, so if that's what Dorman is then his opportunities appear to be boundless at this point.
"We do not redshirt anybody. Pre-existing injuries are evaluated by our training staff and team doctors so I really cannot comment until I receive their evaluations," said Welty. "They will all have the same chance as the starters."
According to www.maxpreps.com in six games for the Panthers in 2017-18 Dorman ran for 444 yards on 48 carries with five touchdowns. That's an average of 9.3 yards per run. He didn't have any catches or kick returns during that same time period, though. During those same six games on defense Dorman made 13 tackles, including one sack for an eight-yard loss and one fumble recovery for six yards.
His special team contributions might not have been as dynamic, but were just as valued and included kicking off 40 times for 1,857 yards and one touchback, Dorman punted nine times for 327 yards and he connected on 29-of-33 extra points and 1-of-1 field goals.
"Tyler is a good football player. We look forward to seeing him compete for a position," Welty said. "That in itself has a two fold effect. It makes him a better player and us a better team. He has as good a chance as any to get plenty of playing time this year based on his performance during training camp."
As a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's third division, Westminster competes in the Saint Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and last season went 6-4 overall, 6-3 SLIAC. This includes going 5-0 at home and 1-4 on the road with a fourt-game win streak. The team also averaged 315.6 yards of offense per game on 168 yards of rushing and almost 148 yards of passing per contest to score just under 24 points a game.