EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - In just three seasons with the Hawkeyes, Sash established himself as one of the greatest "pass thieves" in school history. After coming off the bench during his collegiate debut vs. Maine in 2008, the strong safety went on to start all 37 other games that he appeared in for the Hawkeyes.
It did not take Sash long to establish himself as a true playmaker for Iowa. In just his second career start, he hauled in what would be the first of thirteen interceptions during his time in a Hawkeyes uniform. He would finish fifth in school history in that category.
Sash returned those pass thefts for a total of 394 yards, shattering the school career-record while ranking fourth in Big Ten Conference annals. His 203 return yards as a junior also established a school season-record, placing tied for second on the conference's annual record chart. His six interceptions in 2009 tied for sixth on the Iowa season-record book.
Among active players in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks, Sash finished tied for sixth in interceptions and tied for tenth in interceptions-per-game average (0.342 pg). He also led the active players with his 392 yards gained via interception returns, joining Davon House of New Mexico State (319) and Ahmad Black of Florida (362) as the only other major college defenders to amass at least 300 interception return yards in the 2011 NFL Draft Class.
"When I have the ball in my hands, I have good vision and I can make plays happen," Sash stated. "On defense, though, I need to work on my back pedaling. The coaches say I am the perfect size and fast enough to be a safety, while most wide receivers need to be taller than I am."
At Oskaloosa High School, Sash received a three-star prospect ranking, as he was regarded as the 59th-best athlete in the country while placing fifth on the Rivals.com Iowa Top 10 List. Scout.com ranked him 82nd among the nation's safeties, but also gave him a three-star prospect grade. The team captain was a three-time All-District and Academic All-District pick. He earned All-State third-team honors as a sophomore and first-team accolades in each of his junior and senior seasons.
Sash was a standout two-way player, starting at safety and at wide receiver and tailback. He recorded 137 career tackles, with eight interceptions. On offense, he amassed 2,090 yards with 34 touchdowns on 240 carries (8.71 ypc). He went on to set or tie 28 school records. He also excelled in basketball and qualified in five events at the 2005 State Track Meet.
Some of those records include rushing yards in a game (324), longest touchdown catch (98 yards), most receptions in a career (100), season (49) and game (nine), most touch-downs in a career (63), season (28) and game (seven), receiving yards in a career (2,141), season (1,008) and game (267), touchdown receptions in a career (22), season (12) and game (three) and total career yards (4,310).
In 2005, Sash was selected first team All-State by the Des Moines Register and Iowa Newspaper Association. As a junior, in nine games, he caught 49 receptions for 1,008 yards 20.57 ypc) and 12 touchdowns. He also rushed for 910 yards and 13 touchdowns on 91 carries (10.00 ypc), and completed one of three pass attempts for 38 yards. On defense, he recorded 38 tackles and four interceptions.
In one game during the 2005 season, Sash returned a 93-yard kickoff and 85-yard interception for touchdowns, as well, as recording an 83-yard rushing touchdown. As a senior, he carried 146 times for 1,173 yards (8.03 ypc) and 20 touchdowns. He pulled down 31 tosses for 701 yards (22.61 ypc), finding the end zone six more times. He also scored once on a kickoff return.
On defense, Sash delivered 38 tackles with an interception in 2006. His prep coach, Darrell Schumacher noted, "Tyler is a big-play guy who wants the ball in his hands. He is very fast with good field vision, awareness, and cut-back ability. He has tremendous hand/eye coordination. He is also a very physical football player."
Sash signed his national letter of intent to play at the University of Iowa on August 3rd, 2006. He spent that season performing on the scout team, but made a big impact in 2007 preseason drills. He came off the bench in the season opener and was then inserted into the starting line. A shoulder injury kept him out of the Northwestern clash, but he would go on to record 53 tackles (28 solos) that included a sack and 2.5 stops for loss.
Sash finished 19th in the nation and led the Big Ten Conference with five interceptions, gaining 147 yards in returns. He also broke up six other throws while causing and recovering fumbles. He would earn Freshman All-American and All-Big Ten Conference honors for that performance. Rivals.com selected him the league's best freshman defensive player.
As a sophomore, Sash All-American and All-Big Ten Conference first-team honors. He was the only sophomore on the team's Leadership Group and was named a Thorpe Award (top defensive back) semi-finalist. He ranked second in the nation with six interceptions, as his 203 return yards topped all major college performers. He ranked third on the team with 85 tackles (41 solos), placed fifth with 5.5 stops for loss and deflected six other throws.
Sash was a third-team All-American, first-team All-Big Ten and Jim Thorpe Award semi-finalist pick in 2010. He started all thirteen games at strong safety, adding two more interceptions to his career total. He knocked down two other throws and registered 79 tackles (40 solos), third-best on the team.
In what would be his final collegiate game, Sash recorded six tackles and made a stop behind the line of scrimmage vs. Missouri in the Insight Bowl. Shortly thereafter, on
January 13th, 2011, he decided to forgo his senior season to make himself eligible for the 2011 NFL Draft.
Sash appeared in 38 games at Iowa, starting all but his collegiate debut vs. Maine in 2008, at strong safety…Recorded 217 tackles (109 solos) with a 3-yard sack and 11.5 stops for losses totaling 37 yards…Recovered one fumble and caused three others…Deflected fourteen passes and had thirteen interceptions for 392 yards in returns (30.15 avg) and a touchdown…Added 16 yards on four punt returns…Among active NCAA Football Sub-division players, Sash led the nation with 392 yards via interception returns, as his thirteen pass thefts tied for sixth and his average of 0.342 interceptions per game tied for tenth among those performers…The only other active players with at least 300 yards in returns via interceptions are Ahmad Black of Florida (362) and Davon House of New Mexico State (319)…Sash's thirteen interceptions rank fifth in school history, surpassed by only Devon Mitchell (18; 1982-85), Nile Kinnick (18; 1937-39), Jovon Johnson (17; 2002-05) and Damien Robinson (14; 1993-96)…His six interceptions in 2009 tied Jovon Johnson (2003), Damien Robinson (1996), Plez Atkins (1995), Mike Stoops (1983) and Rod Sears (1976) for sixth on the Iowa season-record chart…Intercepted three passes vs. Iowa State in 2009, tying the school game-record that was first set by Grant Steen vs. Indiana in 2002…His 86-yard touchdown return vs. Indiana in 2009 ranks as fifth-longest interception return in school history…Also set Iowa bowl records for longest interception return (48 yards) and interception return yards in a game (74) in 2009 Outback Bowl win over South Carolina, along with tying the school bowl record with two interceptions…Set the school career-record with 392 yards gained via interception returns, becoming just the seventh player in Big Ten Conference history to gain over 300 yards in a career, ranking fourth on the Big Ten all-time list behind Jamar Fletcher of Wisconsin (459; 1998-2000), Tom Curtis of Michigan (431; 1967-69) and Tracy Porter of Indiana (413; 2004-07)…His 203 yards gained via interception returns in 2009 set the Iowa season record and tied Walter Bowser of Minnesota (1970) and Phil Parker of Michigan State (1983) for second on the Big Ten Conference annual record list, topped by only the 207 yards gained by Alan Zemaitis in 2003.
Earned third-team All-American honors from The NFL Draft Report and Phil Steele's College Football magazine…Received first-team All-Big Ten Conference accolades from the league's coaches and media…One of ten semi-final candidates for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back…Named to the preseason Lott Trophy Watch List, an award named in honor of former college and NFL Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott and presented annually to the college football defensive player of the year…Also a member of the Bronko Nagurski Watch List, awarded annually by the Foot-ball Writers Association of America to the nation's best defensive player…Recipient of the team's Hustle Team Award, Defense…Started all thirteen games at strong safety, as he finished third on the team with 79 tackles (40 solos) that included 3.5 stops for losses of 20 yards…Deflected two passes and intercepted two others for 42 yards in returns…Had a pair of fourth-down tackles and made fourteen third-down hits (nine vs. the run, five vs. the pass) while collecting seven of his stops inside the red zone…Part of a unit that ranked second in the Big Ten and seventh in the nation in scoring defense (17.00 ppg), as the Hawkeyes also finished third in the league and 25th nationally in total defense (332.08 ppg)…Led a secondary that placed second in the conference and 24th in the NCAA ranks with a 115.09 pass efficiency defense rating.
2010 GAME ANALYSIS
Eastern Illinois…Sash opened the season with four solo tackles, adding a pressure on a third-&-8 play that saw EIU quarterback Brandon Large get tackled in the end zone for a safety late in the first quarter…Later in the fourth quarter, he crushed tailback Jimmy Potempa at the line of scrimmage for no gain on a third-&-3 carry, bringing out the EIU punt unit.
Iowa State…Sash delivered six tackles and broke up a pass…In the third quarter, he flushed Austen Arnaud out of the pocket and the quarterback threw a pass that was picked off by the Hawkeyes' Brett Greenwood.
Arizona…The junior followed with seven tackles (4 solos)…Forced a fourth quarter punt after tackling tailback Nic Grigsby two yards short of a first down on the previous play in the fourth frame.
Ball State…Sash had just two tackles, but he also broke up a pass that fell into the hands of fellow defensive back Micah Hyde for an interception…Hyde talked to the press about the pass theft after the game, noting, "We ran a double move and (Tyler) Sash actually had a better position on it. I think the quarterback under threw it a little bit and I was right there to make the pick. The receiver was actually beating me by a couple steps and Tyler, he read it perfect. He was sitting on it and he actually played with the receiver and the quarterback under threw it and it came right to me."
Penn State…The strong safety made six tackles in a 24-3 triumph…Midway through the second quarter, he captured tailback Justin Brown in the backfield for a loss on a carry around right end.
Michigan…Sash picked off a pass and delivered seven tackles in a 38-28 win…The Wolverines committed costly back-to-back miscues. Faced with third-&-5 from midfield, left tackle Taylor Lewan was flagged for a false start. Now third-&-10, QB Denard Robinson heaved a pass down the right sideline that Sash was waiting under. The safety returned the interception 36 yards and Iowa had first down at the Wolverine 49…Later, Michigan put a 12-play drive together that advanced inside the Iowa 21, but Hawkeye defensive end Adrian Clayborn made sure it didn't turn into points. Clayborn got a hand on a 38-yard field goal attempt and Sash picked it up around the 15-yard line and returned it to the Wolverine 48. Iowa cashed the big special team's play into another touchdown, extending its lead to 21-7…Record Watch-Sash had the 12th interception of his career in the second quarter to move into fifth place on Iowa's career list. The 36-yard return gives Sash 386 career return yards, which is an Iowa record and ranks fourth all-time in the Big Ten Conference. He ranks behind Jamar Fletcher (Wisconsin, 459), Tom Curtis (Michigan, 431) and Tracy Porter (Indiana, 413).
Wisconsin…The junior defensive back recorded a season-high thirteen tackles (5 solos) with a stop for a loss…Wisconsin took the opening kick and had Iowa's defense back-pedaling for the first 14 plays before Sash stopped Badger running back James White for an 8-yard loss on third-and-1 from Iowa's 8. Wisconsin settled for a 33-yard field goal by Philip Welch to take a 3-0 lead following a drive of 8-minutes, 9-seconds…UW would rally for a 31-30 win over Iowa, prompting Sash to tell the media after the game, "Give Wisconsin all the credit in the world. We have to get better. They kept pounding the ball on us."
Michigan State…Sash had his second interception for the season, adding three solo tackles in a 37-6 rout…The Hawkeyes scored with long drives (12 plays, 10 plays), short drives (three plays, four plays) and with their defense on a 66-yard interception return by Micah Hyde off an assist from Sash…Michigan State mounted a nice drive of its own before Sash intercepted a pass by Kirk Cousins at the Iowa 28. The intended receiver was ready to make a tackle when Sash pitched the ball to Micah Hyde, who ran the final 66 yards for a touchdown, giving the Hawkeyes a 17-0 lead with 10 seconds left in the quarter…In the post game press conference, Iowa defensive back Shaun Prater talked about Sash's lateral to Micah Hyde off the interception, "It was amazing. We have talked about it all season but I never thought he would be able to do it. I remember last year he was always getting tackled on his interception returns so I said from now I just try pitching it to me. Instead he pitched it to Micah, but that's alright."…On his lateral to Micah Hyde following his interception, Sash explained, "I just ran underneath the out route by the receiver. I don't even know what I was thinking. I saw Micah out of the corner off me eye and I just dropped it off to him and he did the rest of the work. He made a heck of a run back on it."…On the reaction of the coaches after the play, the safety noted, "It is kind of like one of those basketball plays where somebody pulls up for three about 40 feet deep. If it goes, you're fine. I guess I had an assist today to Micah."…On the play of the Iowa defense, Sash stated, "We came out, executed and we made some big plays. We had three interceptions today. The defensive line did a great job getting pressure. Some new young linebackers came in and played lights out."…Record Watch- Sash 13th interception of his career in the first quarter moved him moved him to fourth on Iowa's career interception list. Sash had 392 career return yards, which is Iowa's school record and the total ranks fourth all-time in the Big Ten. He ranks behind Jamar Fletcher (Wisconsin, 459), Tom Curtis (Michigan, 431) and Tracy Porter (Indiana, 413).
Indiana…Sash collected six tackles (3 solos) in an 18-13 decision…The Hoosiers' last-ditch possession came to an end when the safety rerouted receiver Damario Belcher away from Ben Chappell's fourth-&-10 pass attempt with 0:28 left in the contest.
Northwestern…Sash posted four solo tackles, including one that stopped Arby Fields for a 3-yard loss on a third-&-2 rushing attempt, leading to a Wildcats' punt late in the second quarter.
Ohio State…Sash followed with eight tackles (6 solos)…With under four minutes left in the first half, QB Terrelle Pryor threw toward Taurian Washington, who was momentarily open near the Hawkeye end zone. Sash converged on the receiver, tipping the ball into the hands of Micah Hyde for an interception.
Minnesota…In the regular season finale, Sash came up with seven tackles (4 solos).
Missouri (Insight Bowl)…In what would be his final game in an Iowa uniform, Sash made six tackles (5 solos) in a 27-24 decision…Early in the first quarter, he chased QB Blaine Gabbert out of the pocket, as the Tiger fumbled the ball and recovered it before the Iowa safety tackled him for a 9-yard loss.
All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, adding second-team honors from CollegeFootballNews.com and Phil Steele's College Football and third-team accolades from the Associated Press…All-Big Ten Conference first-team choice by the league's coaches and media…One of twelve semi-finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award and received the Coaches Appreciation Award, Defense…Selected National Defensive Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Award committee for his performances vs. Iowa State and Indiana, adding Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors vs. Indiana…Started all thirteen games at strong safety, finishing third on the team with a career-high 85 tackles (41 solos), ranking fifth on the squad with 5.5 stops for losses of 12 yards…Caused two fumbles and deflected six passes…Ranked second in the Big Ten and tied for 11th in the nation with six interceptions (tied for sixth on the school season-record list) for an Iowa annual record 203 yards in returns, which tied for second on the Big Ten season-record chart…Scored on an 86-yard interception return vs. Indiana, which was the fifth-longest return of a pass theft in school history…Led a secondary that saw Iowa rank fourth in the nation while leading the league in pass defense (152.92 ypg), as the Hawkeyes also paced the Big Ten and finished third nationally with an 89.99 pass efficiency defense rating…The team ranked tenth in the nation in total defense (276.54 ypg) and eighth in scoring defense (15.38 ppg).
2009 GAME ANALYSIS
Recorded 10 tackles vs. Northern Iowa, including three solo stops and seven assists, as he also shared a stop for loss and had one pass break-up…In a 35-3 win at Iowa State, he led a defense that collected six turnovers, as Sash tied the school game-record with three interceptions, collecting 63 returns yards, as he also had ten tackles, including two for loss, and forced an ISU fumble…Helped hold Arizona to 105 passing yards and 253 yards total offense, as he delivered five tackles (three solos), along with interception for a 41-yard return that led to an Iowa field goal, marking his seventh interception in his last five games…Recorded two solo tackles and three assists at Penn State…Part of a defense that allowed just 80 net rushing yards, as Sash posted eight tackles, including five solo stops, adding 1.5 tackles for loss and a pass interception that he returned 13 yards to set up an Iowa touchdown in a 24-21 victory over Arkansas State…Made nine tackles vs. Michigan, including four solo stops, along with two pass break-ups…Wisconsin was limited to just 87 rushing yards and 243 yards total offense, as Sash had five solo stops vs. Badgers, including one tackle for loss…Followed with five tackles, as he also caused a fumble vs. Michigan State…In the Indiana clash, Iowa only 79 net rushing yards overall and just three points in the second half, as Sash delivered seven tackles, including one for a loss, as he also had the defensive play of the game with an 86-yard interception return for a touch-down in the third period after a pass was deflected and tipped his direction. The return ranks as fifth longest in school history…Sash returned four punts for 16 yards and was in on six tackles (4 solos) vs. Northwestern…Added six hits vs. Ohio State and eight stops with a pass break-up in a 12-0 shutout of Minnesota…In the 24-14 triumph over Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl, Sash was limited to one solo tackle.
Freshman All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, adding second-team honors from Rivals.com, as both services named him the Big Ten Conference's Top Defensive Freshman…Named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week vs. Penn State…Saw action in twelve games, starting at strong safety in eleven contests…Came off the bench in his career debut vs. Maine in the season opener and sat out the Northwestern clash with a shoulder contusion…Led the conference and tied for 19th in the nation, as he picked off five passes for 147 yards in returns, also breaking up six other throws…Recovered and caused a fumble…Recorded 53 tackles (28 solos) with his only career sack and had 2.5 stops for losses of 5 yards…Part of a secondary that led the conference and finished fifth in the nation with a 98.32 pass efficiency defense rating…The Hawkeyes led the Big Ten and placed fifth nationally in scoring defense (13.00 ppg) and 12th in total defense (291.31 ypg).
2008 GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Made his collegiate debut by breaking up a pass vs. Maine…In his first career start, he delivered four tackles vs. Florida International…Followed with an interception, as he posted ten tackles with a 3-yard sack in a 17-5 defeat of Iowa State…Added five solo hits vs. Pittsburgh, as he also came up with five more tackles, including 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage while deflecting two passes vs. Michigan State…Tallied seven tackles vs. Illinois, as he followed with eight hits (4 solos) while gaining 14 yards on a pass theft in a 24-23 victory over Penn State…Returned an interception 58 yards vs. Minnesota and set a school bowl record with two pass thefts for 74 yards in returns, as he also made four solo tackles in a 31-10 rout of South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.
Red-shirted as a freshman.
2008 Season…Sat out the Northwestern game (9/27) with a shoulder contusion.
Attended Oskaloosa (Ia.) High School, playing football for head coach Darrell Schumacher…Received a three-star prospect ranking, as he was regarded as the 59th-best athlete in the country while placing fifth on the Rivals.com Iowa Top 10 List…Scout.com ranked him 82nd among the nation's safeties, but also gave him a three-star prospect grade…The team captain was a three-time All-District and Academic All-District pick…Earned All-State third-team honors as a sophomore and first-team accolades in each of his junior and senior seasons…Started at safety and at wide receiver and tailback…Recorded 137 career tackles, with eight interceptions…On offense, he amassed 2,090 yards with 34 touchdowns on 240 carries (8.71 ypc)…Went on to set or tie 28 school records. He also excelled in basketball and qualified in five events at the 2005 State Track Meet…Some of those records include rushing yards in a game (324), longest touchdown catch (98 yards), most receptions in a career (100), season (49) and game (nine), most touch-downs in a career (63), season (28) and game (seven), receiving yards in a career (2,141), season (1,008) and game (267), touchdown receptions in a career (22), season (12) and game (three) and total career yards (4,310)…In 2005, Sash was selected first team All-State by the Des Moines Register and Iowa Newspaper Association…As a junior, in nine games, he caught 49 receptions for 1,008 yards 20.57 ypc) and 12 touchdowns…Also rushed for 910 yards and 13 touchdowns on 91 carries (10.00 ypc), and completed one of three pass attempts for 38 yards…On defense, he recorded 38 tackles and four interceptions…In one game during the 2005 season, Sash returned a 93-yard kickoff and 85-yard interception for touchdowns, as well, as recording an 83-yard rushing touchdown…As a senior, he carried 146 times for 1,173 yards (8.03 ypc) and 20 touchdowns…Pulled down 31 tosses for 701 yards (22.61 ypc), finding the end zone six more times…Also scored once on a kickoff return…On defense, Sash delivered 38 tackles with an interception in 2006…His prep coach, Darrell Schumacher noted, "Tyler is a big-play guy who wants the ball in his hands. He is very fast with good field vision, awareness, and cut-back ability. He has tremendous hand/eye coordination. He is also a very physical football player."…Four-year member his school's Honor Roll.
Interdepartmental Studies major…Son of Barney and Mike Sash…Born 5/27/88…Resides in Oskaloosa, Iowa.