Today is a good day to celebrate named Tyler Ecker. According to the 1991 Michigan Media Guide, Tyler Rand Ecker was born on this day in 1982. Ecker grew up in California and starred as a tight end/defensive end at Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado, California. He received so many honors in high school that I can’t begin to list them all. Bottom line – he was an outstanding football player who had the size (6 feet 6 inches and 247 pounds) and the resume to play at the next level. Fortunately, he decided to play for Lloyd Carr’s Michigan Wolverines.
Tyler Ecker arrived in Ann Arbor in the summer of 2000. He did not see any action in his first year and burned his redshirt. Ecker did not participate in football for the next two seasons (2001 and 2002) because he was serving on a mission for the Mormon Church.
Ecker returned to Ann Arbor in 2003 and played enough football to earn his first varsity letter. He caught passes in five games and totaled 7 receptions for 98-yards. Ecker didn’t set the world on fire, but he played some quality minutes on a Big Ten Championship team. So, Ecker’s Michigan career was finally off to a good start.
Tyler was back for the 2004 season and ready to contribute more. He started two games and caught at least one pass in nine different games. His production doubled as he hauled in 17 passes and rolled up 157-yards with his catches. He also scored 2 touchdowns. Ecker helped Michigan win the Big Ten Championship for the fifth time in the Lloyd Carr Era.
Tyler Ecker returned for his third season in 2005. He started five more games for the Wolverines and had career best numbers for receptions (21) and yards gained (285). Tyler averaged 13.6 yards per catch and scored two more touchdowns for the Maize and Blue. Unfortunately, his “best” season wasn’t that great for Michigan. The Wolverines slipped to a final record of 7 wins and 5 losses – the worst season in Coach Carr’s tenure.
Everyone associated with Michigan Football was determined to put the 2005 season behind them. Tyler Ecker did everything he was asked to do. Ecker started a career high eight games. He blocked when he needed to block and caught passes when they threw him the ball (12 catches for 155-yards and 2 touchdowns). Michigan rolled through the first eleven games and came into the Ohio State game with a perfect record of 11 wins and 0 losses.
Unfortunately, everything went south for the final two games of the season. First, legendary Coach, Bo Schembechler passed away the day before the OSU game. The Wolverines battled hard the next day, but it wasn’t meant to be. They lost to OSU and finished the season with another loss to Southern California in the Rose Bowl.
Tyler Ecker and his teammates really bounced back in 2006, but oh, what might have been. Ecker finished his career with four varsity letters and two Big Ten Championships. He finished his seven-year journey (2000 to 2006) with his head held high. He was good enough to get drafted in the National Football League and enjoyed a successful career.
Yes, today is a good day to appreciate the contributions of Tyler Ecker to Michigan Football. I hope he has a very Happy Birthday today! Go Blue!
Who kicked the first Wolverine field goal in Michigan Stadium history?
Joe “Dynamite” Gembis was a hard-hitting fullback who also performed placekicking duties for the Michigan Wolverines. Mr. Gembis kicked his way into the Michigan Football record book when he launched a 25-yard field goal against Illinois. Not only was it the first Wolverine field goal in Michigan Stadium, it was also the only score of the game. Michigan defeated the Fighting Illini by a margin of 3-0. So, that’s the story of the first Wolverine field goal at Michigan Stadium.
How many years was Fielding H. Yost employed by the University of Michigan?