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June 5, 2010

Oregon football player clears the air

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If you've seen him play or work out, you know that Hillsboro (Ore.) High's Colt Lyerla arguably has the most appropriate nickname of any athlete in the Class of 2011: "Supahman."

If you've followed his career online, you know that he has been the subject of much speculation.

Enjoy a quick game of true or false.

Statement: He may be the best workout warrior in the country.

  • True. He followed up his triple-crown performance at the Schuman Underclassman Combines last year (earning MVP honors for his local camp in Oregon, regional camp in Los Angeles and ultimate 100 camp in Oklahoma) by taking MVP at a Schuman camp earlier this month with some impressive numbers (Broad jump, 10-8; Vertical, 39-5; 40 time, 4.55; Shuttle (4.11) .

    Statement: He's only a workout warrior.

  • False. Check out these numbers from last season: 1,643 yards and 26 TDs rushing; 943 yards and 13 TDs receiving and 369 yards and 1 TD returning.

    Statement: Despite being besieged by dozens of offers, he's already down to USC and Miami. Oregon and others are out.

  • False. Lyerla says he hasn't ruled anyone in or out - and won't begin to make a list until the end of the summer. As for Oregon: "I love Oregon," he said. "They are in the same position as the other schools. No leaders right now."

    Statement: Lyerla will not play at Hillsboro for his senior season.

  • False. "I am not sure where that came from," he said. "I have never said that to anyone. It came up once in a conversation with a coach. The answer is and was 'No.' I plan to finish here at Hillsboro High."

    Statement: He is struggling academically at Hillsboro.

  • Again, false: "I have not failed any classes," he said. "No D's; No F's. All C's or better. I am taking care of business and will be a solid academic student until I graduate."

    Statement: He has been compared to Brian Urlacher.

  • True. And then there's Jonathan Stewart, the current Carolina Panther and former Oregon Duck from Timberline (Wash.) High. Lyerla broke his record in the standing broad jump when he leapt 10-10 last year.

    Statement: Urlacher is the better comparison because Lyerla seems destined to play linebacker.

  • False. "I think I have a lot to contribute as an offensive player," he said. "But most people seem to be leaning toward me being a linebacker or a tight end. That is why I want to prove that my speed is there. I feel as an h-back or receiver I can play at the highest level. I hope to be 245 and running in the 4.4's as well. So I would like to think a school might want me for that type of role. But I can accept any role."

    Statement: He's comfortable in the spotlight.

  • False. Lyerla admits he struggled with some of the fame after helping Hillsboro to the 5A title last fall. "After football and the high of winning it all ... things got weird," he said. "People started treating me different. Even some of my friends and teachers. Maybe it was me. But when basketball season came I played but just started hiding out from people and I tried to have some time for myself. Football season was so emotional. It became a little too much. So I missed some school and pulled away from everything. People misread that because it is not like me. But things are back on track now."

    Statement: As good as he is, he won't be enough to lift Hillsboro to another state title - now that it has been elevated to the highest level, 6A.

  • False. "We lost some key players, but are working very hard as a team already," he said. "Jason Ferguson is amazing and is really in great shape at 230 and so strong. He won the MVP award here today at Schuman's for D-Line. Our QB will be Tyson Fernstrom and he can do it all too. Both of those guys and quite a few others will help us. Win or lose it will be a fun year and I think we can compete for the playoffs for sure."

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