A True Student-Athlete: MVSU’s Tyrone Timmons Jr. Makes The Balance

By L.A. Batchelor
Updated: June 30, 2006

NORTH CAROLINA — Imagine playing football at a high level, having lots of success, striving to be even better this year all with the albatross of the school heritage and legacy left by some very distinguished players before you.

Enter one Tyrone Timmons Jr. A hardworking, industrious, intently devoted and enthusiastic young man who is a senior wide receiver for Mississippi Valley State University. Tyrone comes across as a student athlete first which is refreshing and encouraging in an age of high school and college athletics that seems to be anti-ethical.

He has grasped the understanding that there is more to life than just playing every Saturday or Sunday on the gridiron no matter what either I or anyone else love to conclude.

Recently, Tyrone and I had a chance to chat about a few topics. We deliberated about his first sports love, how he began playing the game of football, his own legacy, playing in the obscurity of the legendary Jerry Rice and life after football amidst other theories.

Here is what he had to say:

LA : State your full name, school name, grade level and what position you play.

Tyrone : Tyrone Timmons Jr., Mississippi Valley State University, SR, WR. I am a Red-shirt senior.

LA: Do you already have your degree and if so, what is your degree in?

Tyrone: I have a degree in electronics.

LA: What are your parents names?

Tyrone: Tyrone and Twilla Timmons

LA: Any syblings?

Tyrone: Yes. I have a younger sister name Haley.

LA: What is the most important life lesson your parents taught you that you try to apply in your life daily?

Tyrone: They taught me if you work hard you can get anything and acheive anything you want. When I train hard and play hard on the field it makes me successful. Off the field when I work hard and I am focused, I’m successful.

LA: How did you know you wanted to play football?

Tyrone: I really didn’t know at first. My first love was baseball. My uncle Ozzie Timmons played professional baseball and that’s all I wanted to do. When I was 7 my younger cousin D.J convinced me to play football. I have never stopped since.

LA:Who was one of your inspirations in getting into playing football?

Tyrone:Once I started playing football, I always wanted to be like Jerry Rice. It was weird that I ended up going to the same college as him.

LA: You mentioned Jerry Rice. What was it like coming to the school, knowing the legacy he left and the enormous shoes you and other receivers who’ve come after him, had to fill?

Tyrone: There is no pressure. All i can do is play my game. Once im done at valley, hopefully my name can be put next to his.

LA: Who are some of the players in the NFL that you look up to or want to be like on and off the field?

Tyrone:When Jerry Rice was playing, I wanted to be like him. He works hard and stays out of trouble. As I got older I realized I had a lot in common with him.

LA: Take me through a typical work out day for you?

Tyrone: My day starts off with my job at 4:00am. I get off work at 9:00am and head back home to rest until about 12. I go to the weight room at 2pm. I usually do 5 sets of what ever exercise I do with about 6-8 reps. I don’t leave the weight room until about 4-4:30pm. After that I go to the field and run routes and catch balls until the sun goes down. I don’t get home until about 8:30 or 9pm.

LA: How did it feel and what did it mean to you to make First Team All-SWAC?

Tyrone: It felt good because I accomplished one of my preseason goals. I meant a lot to me because the previous season I was hurt and I was able to comeback strong and make all conference.

LA: You caught 63 passes last year and scored 8 touchdowns. What are your individual goals this year and what are your team goals?

Tyrone: As far as my individual goals, I want to catch 70 passes and have 12 TDs. By the end of the season my goal will be to reach the senior bowl and get a combine invite to Indianapolis. I only have one team goal and that is to win the SWAC Championship.

LA: How do you get ready for a game? A season?

Tyrone: My pre-game route is pretty simple. I wake up, pray and read my bible. I usually go and get some breakfast and make sure I eat a lot. That will be my last meal until after the game. On my way to the stadium I usually listen to something calm. Most of the time its India.Arie or Musiq Soulchild. Once I’m in the locker room I put on my pants and cleats and then walk the field. I walk from on end to the other. I visualize the game as I’m walking and concentrating on my assignment for the day. Once I enter the locker room after walking the field, I change out my music to something more up beat and get ready for kickoff. As far as for the season, I just workout everyday. I go to the weight room 4 to 5 times a week and go to the field everyday. I even go to the field on weekends sometimes.

LA: You were born in Melbourne and raised in Tampa. Any players that have gone on to the NFL that are originally from Florida you like or would like to immulate?

Tyrone: (Detroit Lion) Mike Williams is from Tampa. I played against him from Little League to high school football. I like his game. But being from Florida you got to love Primetime. Every kid growing up loved Deion Sanders.

LA: What are other interest you have outside of football?

Tyrone: I like working with kids. If its sports or school work, I like to help out younger kids. It makes me feel good as a person when you help out someone and see them become successful.

LA: Name some other players to watch on the team?

Tyrone: Watch out for Aries Nelson-QB, Tyler Knight-LB, Chris Wilson-CB, Alter Foster-T, Clerance Cotton-WR and Calvin Woods-RB/WR

LA: What do you expect for this upcoming season?

Tyrone: I expect for our team to win the SWAC.

LA: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

Tyrone: In the next 5 years I see myself as a successful WR in the NFL. As far as ten years, If the lord blesses me to play that long hopefully I’m in the NFL. If not the NFL, then I will either be coaching or working in the field of electronics.

LA: Do you have a nickname on and/or off the field?

Tyrone: Some people call me TT, some call me # 5.

LA: With all the talent competing and being scouted for the NFL, what will you do if you do not make it to the next level?

Tyrone: If i don’t make it to the next level, i will use my electronics degree and find a job.

LA: Any final words or anything you want the viewer to know about you and your school?

Tyrone: I’m going to continue to work hard and hopefully reach my goal of being in the NFL. Mississippi Valley State University is on the rise, watch out for us this year.


Tyrone: XBOX.

LA: Thanks for your time Tyrone, best of luck this year and in the future.

Tyrone: Your welcome. Thank you.

It’s pretty easy to cheer and extol such a young man like Tyrone Timmons. His passion for the game of football seems to be comparable to his love of his team, the school he represents, the conference he plays in, the younger kids he loves to help and an occupation in electronics he can use as a alternative if playing for championships in front of a frenzy crowd at the next level is not his career destiny.

Mr Timmons will be fine thanks to a solid upbringing from his loving parents Tyrone and Twilla Timmons, other relatives, his coaches and other strong and positive leverages. He seems to be a very level-headed and bright individual with a realistic outlook on life while playing a game that is fun and at times not rewarding both cerebrally and somantically.

Those of us who’ve strapped on the helmets, shoulder pads and jock straps will concur. We can only aspire for more young men like him. Men who understand the contrariety between supremacy in athletics counterbalanced with the inimitable one can reach in life.

NOTE: The Delta Devils will open the season on September 2nd against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the 7th Annual Chicago Football Classic at Soldier Field. For more information on Timmons and Mississippi Valley State University Sports, log on to www.mvsu.edu/athletics