Friday, August 17, 2012

49ers rookie Tyms "found an oasis" in FAMU

Former Rattler football standout Brian Tyms opened up to the San Francisco Chronicle about his tough upbringing and the role FAMU played in turning his life around:

After he'd lived in four group homes, been kicked out of the house by his foster family and spent two months sleeping in a car, 49ers rookie wide receiver Brian Tyms finally found an oasis when he arrived at Florida A&M three years ago.

After living a nightmare, he was suddenly surrounded by people - professors and coaches - paid to help him realize his dreams.

On Wednesday, Florida A&M wide receivers coach Steven Jerry recalled driving by the football facility and seeing a solitary figure who seemingly never left campus. It would be Tyms lugging a sled, or running routes through cones - a young man with an NFL body and sprinter's speed determined to distance himself from his painful past.

"He was so happy to be a college student because the alternative was so bad," Jerry said. "You could tell there was a genuine appreciation for everything, every day. He ate, slept and breathed football and school for three years, and now it's paid off for him."

Tyms, 23, who bounded back to the huddle after his lone reception in Friday's preseason opener against Minnesota, can see a bright future after nearly two decades of darkness. The toll has included the deaths of both drug-addled, physically abusive biological parents and a 13-year separation from his beloved half-sister.

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, he possesses prototypical size for a pro wide receiver and eye-popping athleticism. At Florida A&M's pro day, he had a 38.5-inch vertical jump, which would have ranked tied for fifth among wide receivers at the NFL combine. His time in the 20-yard shuttle (3.93 seconds) would have tied for second and his 40-yard-dash clocking (4.40) would have ranked third.

Read the full article here.

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