When Maryland received a commitment from Georgia fullback Tyler Cierski last week, his head coach Shannon Jarvis knew the Terps would be getting an excellent all-around back. Cierski is one of the key cogs of the Mill Creek (Hoschton, GA) offense while blocking, running, and receiving the ball. "He does all phases of the game extremely well, including receiving the ball, blocking, and running. In our offense, we use him in every phase. We build everything around what he does," Coach Jarvis said.
Cierski has been a starter on Mill Creek's varsity team since his sophomore year, but was hampered by an injury for a few games in his junior campaign earlier this fall. "This will be Tyler's third year starting. He started for us as a sophomore and he's a tremendous player for us. He's a 6 foot 250 pound fullback so he's a big, physical football player. He was hurt last year and missed five games which really hurt us, but he came back and he's healthy. He's a physical force for us."
Coach Jarvis believes Cierski will play a traditional fullback role once he arrives in College Park. "The thing that's limited him a little bit in recruiting is that he is a traditional fullback. He is a prototypical fullback with his size and he runs a 4.7 so I know even though he has size he is not a sluggish kid. He runs so well for as big as he is," Coach Jarvis said. "I don't know what Coach Friedgen's going to do with him in that regard [running the ball] but the thing about him is he's just so big and physical and he can do everything so well, he just gives you so many options, both at the point of attack and blocking and play action passing."
As with almost all players making the transition from high school to college football, there will most likely be some kind of a transition that Cierski has to go through to adjust and be able to play in the ACC. "Well the thing about Tyler is that he's always been able to block so well because he's so big and strong but there's still some fundamentals there that I think he's going to have to adapt to a little bit in college and I think that's really what he's ready for is that challenge because he'll be matched up against a little bigger people. There are always fundamentals that any kid can work on and they have to when they get to that level because the competition is so much greater."
Sometimes, true freshman do come in and play right away, and Cierski's coach thinks that he might have a chance to be one of them, despite the hefty gap in level of competition. "The biggest thing was how powerful he was in his blocking. Like I said, he needs to work on his fundamentals but he's got plenty of pancake blocks just from sheer strength," which is evidenced by the astounding blocks seen in Cierski's highlight video.
"I feel like they got that kind of kid who can come in and make the transition to that level of football fairly quickly just because of his sheer ability athletically with his strength and size."