Friday, February 3, 2023

Gophers Safety Tyler Nubin continues family tradition with ’27’ jersey, Stellar Play


The number 27 provided comfort and connection to the Nubin family, but when Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell saw the numbers flash before his eyes on October 2, there was nothing but disconnection and fear.

With the number on his jersey, Gophers defender Tyler Nubin made Boilermakers QB think he had found an open receiver to continue a potentially winning game, but Nubin jumped in to intercept a pass and cement Minnesota’s 20-13 win over Ross Ad. Stadium.

After that, Nubin took off the necklace from his chest and put it on over his red and gold clothes; it contained a photograph of his late uncle, Steve King, a former security guard with number 27 in Michigan; he died of a heart attack at the age of 41 in 2014.

“He is very important to me and I definitely have to keep it under my cushions,” Nubin said that day in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Nubin’s improved play this season has helped the Gophers defense to dominate. Minnesota (8-4) will face West Virginia (6-6) in the guaranteed bet at 9:15 pm ET Tuesday at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Nubin, a junior, was awarded the All-Big Ten Honorable Mention in 2021 after leading the Gophers with three interceptions and finishing fourth on the team with a total of 44 tackles.

“I think he was really a man who lacks respect from the outside, especially when you talk about our defense,” head coach PJ Fleck said this month. “He was exceptional. He plays right. He plays incredibly hard. ”

Nubin was an ultra-athletic, versatile player who took the St. Charles, Illinois North High School football team to unprecedented heights. He played full-back and host before adding the wild quarterback as senior. It received four stars in the recruiting service rankings and attracted the attention of the entire Big Ten.

“Everyone was on their toes,” said St. Charles North coach Robert Pomazak of his recruitment.

Questions have arisen as to whether Nubing, who was 6’2 and 190 pounds in high school, had a top speed to play in the corners at Power Five level, or if he was better designed to be safe. Minnesota won the recruitment battle and moved him to safety.

Like a real freshman in 2019, Nubin sat behind Antoine Winfield Jr. and Jordan Howden on one of the best U teams in the school’s history, but Nubin was on all four special teams. At up to 210 pounds, Nubin was asked to replace the unanimous All-American at Winfield in 2020, but with the position change, he was unable to improve the transition with spring training or regular fall training camps due to the pandemic. …

“It was really the first time I played safely in a game,” Nubin said of the 2020 season. His inexperience appeared.

Pro Football Focus rated Nubin’s performance at 45.6 points, one of the lowest scores in the country in 2020. Nubin’s score has climbed to 69.2 this year, and Fleck sees this as a first step towards what could be a steep climb.

“There is no limit,” Fleck told Pioneer Press. “He really came out of his shell this year. His personality really shines through. He’s incredibly violent. This is the only thing we wanted him to be more violent this year, let it show. And he definitely did it. ”

Nubin’s father, Rodney, often sees his brother Steve playing Tyler. Steve King was safe for the Wolverines in the mid-1990s, seeing action in the same supporting roles as Charles Woodson and Ty Low. King continued to play in the Arena League.

“(Tyler) just looked at Steve,” Rodney said. “He wanted to be like him as a footballer. Steve was a very stubborn and stubborn defender. They were just really, really close. When he passed away, it hit him hard. This hit the whole family hard. I tell him all the time that he reminds me of Steve with the way he plays and how he attacks the game. ”

Steve and brothers Joe and Rodney grew up in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Steve was the oldest of them, and his move to Ann Arbor was the first of three in the Midwest.

Rodney also moved north to East Michigan, where he played tail-back and then full-back in the 1990s. Joe came to play at Mount Senario in Ladysmith, Wisconsin before he moved to Eastern Michigan to play and live with Rodney.

The Wolverines gave Steve jersey # 27, and when Rodney got to East Michigan he wanted to wear # 3, but only # 27 remained, so he put it on. When Joe got to Mount Senario, he wanted number 1, but there was only one number left? Twenty seven.

“This number is very important to us as a family,” Rodney said.

In Eastern Michigan, Rodney met Sherez, a member of the school’s athletics team; she ran a quarter of a mile and jumped high. The Sherez family also has a long list of basketball players.

“I’m the best athlete in the house,” Rodney said during a phone call with Sherez and Pioneer Press. Shereza did not respond to Rodney’s statement until asked.

“No, I heard you,” Shereza replied. “I ignored you. … PJ is not saying that. ”

Rodney picked him up again: “(Fleck) always tells me that Shereza is the best athlete in the house. I admit it. She was a really good athlete. ”

Rodney and Sherez have another son, Jordan, who was another outstanding player at St. Charles North and is now a freshman quarterback in Minnesota.

Given their athletic background, Nubins were looking for more than just chatter during recruiting visits. “We’ve always been very careful to understand what this is about,” Rodney said. “All schools, presentations are always objects, championships, all the little things, uniforms.

“What is especially important for us is when we went to Minnesota, the first thing they talked about was the children. They talked about child development and how to help student athletes become men and help them achieve certain values. ”

Tyler Nubin showed what he was capable of in what was arguably his best high school game. In the state 7A semi-final in 2018, Nubin hit four touchdowns (three snatches, one hold), including both TDs in double overtime over the mighty Mount Carmel. Nubin, who has already played in Minnesota, did so in black boots with a red and gold block “M” painted on the outside and a “27” on the inside.

On the morning before the playoff match, Tyler told Sherez that he was going to score three touchdowns. Previously, he confessed to his mother with statements such as: “I’m going to leave today.” But he never shared anything more specific.

“I’m like, ‘Okay! Let’s do it, ”Shereza reminded. “It was amazing just to see how it worked out.”

St. Charles North (SCN) was heading for a state championship game because of Nubin and the fans knew it. After the game, they started chanting “Nu-bin! Nubin! ”

Instead of enjoying the chants, Tyler immediately stopped them and redirected them to SCN! SCN! ”

“I thought it just highlighted his personality,” said Pomazak, who is in his 10th year as head coach. “His ability to see other points of view is pretty unique.”

When it comes to Tyler Nubin, perspective is key. Fleck said Tyler now has more of that with Jordan on campus, showing an increased maturity with his younger brother at the football club.

True rookie Justin Whalley said defense coach Paul Haynes always points to Nubin when they watch a training film. “I remember he was sick and every game he was still running at full speed,” Wally said of a memory of his brother.

Defense Coordinator Joe Rossi said he is constantly asked questions about the players, including Nubin, who was highly praised and who did not immediately reach the same level.

“Everyone was worried; it didn’t bother us, ”Rossi said. “We were only concerned if we saw a drop in his performance in terms of how he performed and how he prepared, and we never saw that. Anyway, it has escalated, and when you see it, you realize that you have the right type of guy. I think he sees it much better than before. … We are very glad where he is. Here’s the fun part: I think he could be much better, too. ”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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