Alex Kushel

Mike Tyson: The Football Player

Created on Jan. 24, 2014 6:29 PM EST

Undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is no stranger to making headlines inside or outside the boxing ring. Now, it’s time to meet his young, gridiron counterpart: Mike Tyson, the football player. He may be an unknown in the college football landscape, but he is looking to make a name for himself as an up-and-coming star for the Cincinnati Bearcats in the American Athletic Conference.

Tyson, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound safety, is a native of Norfolk, Va. He was a standout at Lake Taylor High School and Hargrave Military Academy as well as a four-star prospect by As a first-team all-district defensive back in high school, he made eight interceptions in 2011. Last year, he was one of the Bearcats' big additions on National Signing Day. 

Tyson had a successful campaign in the secondary with the Bearcats during the 2013 season. The freshman played in nine games and made 13 tackles while recording two interceptions.

Approached by Clemson, TCU, Texas Tech, Penn State, Virginia Tech and Virginia, Tyson will be one the top returning players in the Bearcats secondary as a sophomore in 2014. Cincinnati is coming off a 9-4 season, including six wins in the AAC.

Tyson is a ball hawk with playmaking ability. He's not going to bite a receiver’s ear off, but he will make it difficult for offenses to throw downfield. He can cover ground with closing speed to break up passes, blitz with abandon and help in run support.

Because of Tyson's namesake, opponents may target him as a joke during meetings leading up to the game, but may not know he can be dangerous in the open field. He had a 95-yard interception return and barely came short of a game-winning score.

Let’s not expect the football Mike Tyson to be an overnight sensation. However, he may surprise with you with his talent on the field and spotless record off it.

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