When he transferred from McLeod, Texas, to North Caddo following his sophomore year, Tyree McCauley hadn’t played organized football for more than five years. He wasn’t in football shape, didn’t have the physical aptitude and was lost when it came to blocking.
But the summer of 2012 was a reformative time for the young man, and it molded him into a potential college prospect. Now heading into his senior campaign, the 6-foot-1, 192-pound McCauley is a force to be reckoned with.
“Tyree did a good job for us last year because he is naturally fast and strong, and he is the only one of our kids who showed up for all 29 workouts this summer,” Rebels coach Jerry Byrd said. “Even though he’s our strongest and fastest, he showed up. A lot of kids use the excuse that they’re working, but Tyree worked, too, as a lifeguard at the Vivian pool.”
McCauley admits that the adjustment to high school football wasn’t easy, especially converting to wide receiver/tight end after playing running back as a youngster.
“Coach Mike Glover told me to come out for football because he had a position for me, but it was tough to learn how to block,” he said. “About 85 percent of the time I was a wide receiver, but then I’d line up as a tight end on our counters. It took me a while to get my explosiveness and learn to shoot my hands, but I’m proud of myself.”
When he isn’t in the weight room, McCauley enjoys going shopping at Rue 21 and the Nike store at the Louisiana Boardwalk with buddies Deion Johnson, Grant Fitzgerald, Lagarion Taylor, Eugene Chism, Edrick Smith and Cody Morgan. Sometimes they’ll even take in a movie.
But McCauley felt it was important to commit to the North Caddo coaching staff to make workouts a daily staple.
“I’m one of the few guys on our team who truly loves the game of football,” he said. “And I wanted to show some leadership going into my senior year. Some days I was a little late getting there, but I told my teammates that I was going to make all the workouts, so I did my best to get there.”
McCauley says he has maintained a 3.4 GPA since arriving in Vivian, but added that assets in the classroom aren’t the same on the football field.
“One thing that football has taught he is that you have to have a short memory,” he said. “If I drop the ball, I may think about what I need to do to correct that, but when I get back to the huddle, I forget about it and move on to the next play. I keep a serious face on the football field, so no one knows what I’m thinking.”
College coaches are telling McCauley that they will continue to evaluate him during his senior campaign, which he believes will see the Rebels in the playoffs. A coach Southern-Baton Rouge recently visited him in Vivian.
“If they offer me, that’s where I want to go,” he said.