This is the fourth in our annual "Impact Player" series, taking a closer look at some of the state's top players as we draw closer to the start of MIAA football season. To see past Impact Player entries, CLICK HERE. As always, the names of opposing high school coaches commenting are withheld.
In the last couple years, Brooks Tyrrell’s name has been well entrenched in Massachusetts athletic circles.
Early in the academic year, last September, the Marblehead lacrosse midfielder gave his verbal commitment to Notre Dame. That same fall, Tyrrell began making his name on the gridiron as well. After rushing for 1,932 yards and 19 touchdowns in 10 games, the Magicians running back was named Northeastern Conference Player of the Year as a junior. Tyrrell scored 27 total touchdowns last season while also presenting a threat on special teams return units.
As a result of his mix of size and athleticism, Marblehead head coach Jim Rudloff has used Tyrrell across a gamut of functions and formations. With good hands, Tyrrell is also a dependable pass catcher both out of the backfield and flexed out. With a sizeable offensive line in front of him, including recent UMass commit Derek Dumais (6-5, 315) and another college recruit in Dan Marino (6-3, 245), Tyrrell suits Marblehead’s offense. He’s tough enough to be a between-the-tackles runner, but is speedy enough to gain the corner on stretch runs out of the Magicians’ pistol set.
You can see Tyrrell’s breakaway speed in his club team lacrosse highlights from his freshman year, particularly in the opening clip where he outruns the opposing team’s midfielders (as well as the camera operator) in transition:
Player: Brooks Tyrrell
School: Marblehead High School
Listed Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 190 pounds
Scouts Inc. Grade: N/A
Scouts Inc. Rank: N/A
College: Notre Dame (lacrosse)
Key 2013 stat: Led North Shore schools with 237 carries last season.
Opposing coach: “He’s a really good cut runner, but he’s always moving forward and that’s how he’s able to make plays. He’s not going to run out of bounds, he’s going to initiate contact. It’s a nice complement for them that he catches the ball so well out of the backfield. Also, he’s a threat as a receiver. I think Jim [Rudloff] did a really good job of hiding him from most other people. You didn’t see him as a sophomore, so last year, a lot of people were seeing him for the first time. If you didn’t know about him, going in to play Marblehead early last season, you didn’t know what was coming. This year, you’ll certainly know what’s coming, as he’ll be the focus of everybody’s defensive game plan against them. He is their offense. The threat of him running the zone, or the stretch, last year, with the complement of players they had … is scary. They’ve been very fortunate there in recent memory to be able to transition from [Will] Quigley; they’ve had some big, impressive high school backs there. They’ve been dangerous because, if you overload the box, they had [Will] Millett and [Brian] Daly last year who could really burn you down the field.”
Bottom Line: Tyrrell is a rare breed in that he’s big and rugged enough to carry a heavy workload in games and throughout the season. But he’s not simply a North-South runner. His athleticism – which is in no small way enhanced by his lacrosse acumen – also gives Tyrrell the ability to be an elusive runner in the open field with a head of steam. But he’s no scat back. Going in excess of 200 carries in 10 games last year, Tyrrell is a feature back who thrives with a physical running style. While Tyrrell’s football career will come to an end when December rolls around, he should be among the state’s rushing statistical leaders and have the Magicians in the hunt for the Division 3 state title.