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Rookie Roles: Safety Tyler Sash


College Career:Sash always seemed to be in the middle of the action during Iowa games. He played in 38 games at Iowa, starting at strong safety in all but his collegiate debut vs. Maine in 2008. Sash recorded 217 tackles (109 solo), including 11.5 stops for losses totaling 37 yards. He intercepted 13 passes for 392 yards in returns (a 30.2-yard avg.) and a touchdown. Sash also deflected 14 passes, forced three fumbles and recovered 1. His 392 interception return yards set a school record and placed him first among active NCAA players in 2010. Sash was the seventh player in Big ten history with at 300 yards on interception returns. His 13 picks rank fifth in school history. Sash's 86-yard touchdown return vs. Indiana in 2009 was the fifth-longest interception return in school history. His 203 yards on 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 in conference history. In 2010, Sash was named first team All-Big Ten by the league's coaches and media and was one of 10 semifinal candidates for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back. He started all 13 games at strong safety and finished third on the team with 79 tackles (40 solo), including 3.5 stops for losses of 20 yards.

Strengths:Sash is a playmaker. He has a nose for the ball and a knack for picking it off. Sash is physical and instinctive player and he is an intelligent player who can get everyone on the defense lined up. "You love those kind of guys," general manager Jerry Reese said.

How He Fits In:The day Sash was drafted, Reese said he believes the youngster can come in and compete for a job in the back of the secondary. Incumbents Kenny Phillips and Pro Bowler Antrel Rolle will begin camp as the starting safeties. Deon Grant will be a factor if he returns. Sash will have a chance to contribute as a safety and, as so many rookies do, on special teams.

Personal:Sash was a three-sport star at Oskaloosa High School in Iowa. A team captain, Sash was a three-time All-District and Academic All-District pick and earned All-State third-team honors as a sophomore and first-team accolades in his junior and senior seasons. He started at safety (where he recorded 137 tackles and eight interceptions), wide receiver and tailback. On offense, he amassed 2,090 yards with 34 touchdowns on 240 carries (8.7 yards per carry). Sash set or tied 28 school records. 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 touchdowns 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). He also excelled in basketball and qualified in five events at the 2005 State Track Meet…Sash was an Interdepartmental Studies major at Iowa.

The Quote:"This guy has good size, he runs well enough. He is not your top-flight athlete, but the guy has a feel for the game, instinctive, excellent ball skills. He has 13 career interceptions in three years, which is phenomenal. The guy is good in the box. We hope he will play special teams for us. He has that kind of toughness about him; reckless with his body. So we really like that about him. To get a guy like that, 13 picks, this late, size  - we are happy about that."  - Director of College Scouting Marc Ross

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