The 90 Illini #87: Tyler Strain

Jun 3, 2021

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I'm often surprised by hometowns when putting these posts together. Tyler Strain is from Milton, Florida and went to Pace High School. I start wondering where Milton might be, so I look it up and find that Milton is just outside Pensacola, not far from Alabama. For whatever reason, when I hear that we landed a player from Florida, I think of three regions - Miami, Tampa, or Jacksonville. I never really think of the panhandle.

So I ran some driving distances. Pace High School to here: 799 miles. Pace High School to South Beach: 668 miles. State lines are weird. He lives closer to Carbondale, Illinois than Miami.

87. Tyler Strain

Defensive Back
Year in school: Freshman (5 years to play 4)
Height: 5'-10" -- Weight: 180 lbs.
Hometown: Milton, Florida
High School: Pace HS
Best offers: South Florida, Tulane, South Alabama
Tom Cruise rating:


Strain is a track guy (which goes without saying because almost every Lovie skill player was a track guy). If you check his Twitter, you'll see highlights from his spring track season. He recently posted this one when he anchored the 4x100 relay for Pace and passed a few guys to grab a podium spot by finishing third:

So he was recruited for his speed. Won districts in the 100 with a 10.74 this spring, then ran a 10.66 in his next meet (again, according to his Twitter account). Does that make him a football player? Film was pretty good, which is why I handed out 2.5 Cruises, but he only had three other offers, none from Power Five schools.

2021 Outlook

I'm going to write this same section four times, once each for the four freshman cornerbacks who arrive this month. There were only four scholarship cornerbacks going through spring ball, and that number moved to five when walkon Tailon Leitzsey was put on scholarship halfway through spring ball. So the cornerback room will be those five guys and then four freshman corners, Strain being one.

I believe that at least one of those guys won't redshirt and will be playing this fall. Tony Adams and Devon Witherspoon will start, but after that it's wide open. I don't think any of the current backups (Leitzsey, Kendall Smith, or Taz Nicholson) have a second string spot locked up, so there's room for one (or two) of these freshmen to immediately get into the rotation. So while other true freshmen didn't make this list (there are 99 scholarship players right now and this list only has 90 names), Strain makes the list because at least one of those corners will play. Might be him.


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