BOULDER ó New University of Colorado head football coach Jon Embree said he might have a late addition or two to his first recruiting class, and that prediction rang true Monday when Albuquerque Eldorado High School wide receiver Tyler McCulloch signed a letter-of-intent to join the Buffalo program.
He is the 20th member of the class, the 19th high schooler, and is the first prep from Colorado’s neighboring state to the south to sign with the Buffaloes out of high school since Las Cruces-Mayfield’s Darius Holland did so in 1991.
“We’re excited to have him as part of the program and he is a great addition for us,” Embree said. “Tyler has got a great combination of athleticism and size, plus he’s an exceptional student.”
McCulloch earned first-team All-State honors from the coaches at both wide receiver and defensive back, along with first-team All-District 2-5A accolades as a senior, when he was ranked as the No. 14 player overall in the state of New Mexico (the third wide receiver) by NewMexicoPreps.com. As a junior, he was first-team All-District 5-5A at wide receiver.
He missed all but five games as a senior after suffering a lacerated liver and spleen when hit simultaneously by two players early in the year, though he was able to return by the end of the season and participate in the playoffs. Despite missing just over half the season, he still caught 40 passes for 570 yards and nine touchdowns. On defense, he played both cornerback and safety, racking up 42 tackles, with five passes broke up, two fumble recoveries and a caused fumble.
As a junior, he hauled in 52 passes for 720 yards and 11 touchdowns and at the time was considered to be one of the top two Division I prospects in the state.
His two top games as a senior bookended the season: in a 46-26 win over West Mesa in the opener, he caught 11 passes (three one-handed) for 130 yards and a touchdown, and in a 28-27 loss to Las Cruces in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs, he had seven receptions for 186 yards and all four Eldorado touchdowns (53, 7, 19 and 6 yards); Eldorado went for two points with 1:18 left but couldn’t convert. That ended Eldorado’s season under coach Charlie Dotson with a 12-1 record.
He is undecided on a major at Colorado, but is interested in Kinesiology and Broadcast Journalism. Owner of a 3.9 grade point average in high school, he was an Academic All-Albuquerque Metro Team member as a senior and an Academic All-District honoree as a junior and senior.
Though he’s lived his entire life in Albuquerque, he has tremendous ties to the state of Colorado. His uncle is Tommy Sheppard, the former long-time Denver Nuggets media relations director who is currently the vice president of basketball operations for the Washington Wizards (his mother, Barbara, is Tommy’s sister).