Before he’s even stepped on a high school football field, his name is already known. If one hasn’t heard, here’s your chance. Chris Tyree....

Before he’s even stepped on a high school football field, his name is already known. If one hasn’t heard, here’s your chance.

Chris Tyree.

More importantly, college recruiters have already learned his name. As a result, the rising freshman at Thomas Dale picked up his second offer this past week, and it was a big one from the Atlantic Coast Conference: Virginia Tech.

“Chris has a tremendous talent and a work ethic that is unheard of for such a young athlete,” said Thomas Dale coach Kevin Tucker. “He puts in a ton of time perfecting his craft and making sure he is at the top of his game.”

While the Class of 2020 member’s offer is four years away from coming to fruition for whichever school lands him, it’s difficult to argue with his body of work, despite his youth. The running back’s first offer came from Marshall University.

Tyree has been attracting attention for the past couple of years, but really made a statement over the summer in Blacksburg at Virginia Tech’s camp. Competing against many older athletes, he won the coveted “fastest man in camp” award. It was the first time in the camp’s history that a freshman won that honor.

His father, Richard Tyree, said that most of the college interest his son has received has been based on film during his eighth-grade season playing for the Central Virginia Hurricanes. Richard said that many colleges want to see him play live and in person.

“Overall, he [Chris] is the total package and colleges will be showing a ton of interest over the next four years,” Tucker said.

The other half of that package is the off-the-field matters, perhaps the most important facet to any college recruiter.

Tyree is an A/B Honor Roll student who is loved by his teachers and classmates alike, according to Tucker. While his academics pack a punch to go along with his on-field skill set, he remains level-headed.

“When you talk to him, you find out what a humble young man he is,” said Tucker. “He’s very down-to-earth.”

Seemingly, Thomas Dale will look to improve on a season that saw them advance to the 6A State semifinals, and in its arsenal will be yet another dangerous running back. The run game has historically been a mainstay of Knights football, and Tyree will look to be the next back to ascend to the next level.

Two NFL running backs, William Henderson and Ken Oxendine, have hailed from Thomas Dale, while several others have gone on to have outstanding college careers. Nick Fleming had a record-setting run at Virginia State, and currently D.J. Reid (Virginia Tech) and Eric Finney (Lackawanna Community, Pa.) look to carry on the tradition. This season, Tyree will form what could be a devastating one-two punch with senior Max Oxendine, Ken’s nephew. The last time an Oxendine was in the backfield for the Knights and there was another talented running back with him, special things happened. Stay tuned.