By Ray Hamill — A year on the sidelines has left Tyce Mullins excited about next season.
The 2019 Eureka High graduate, who redshirted at Butte College last fall, is ready to return to action in 2020 and eager to win a starting place on one of the top community college programs in the nation.
And the former Logger has been working hard for his opportunity.
“I’m hoping to start,” he said. “I’ve just got to put in the work to be in the position when the fall comes around.”
Preparation has never been a problem for the middle linebacker, who had two sensational years playing for the Loggers, leading the way on a defense that set the tone on a team that posted back-to-back undefeated regular seasons.
Mullins, who loved to devour game film while playing at Eureka, joined the Roadrunners out of high school but opted to red shirt behind a veteran group of Butte linebackers.
This year however, he’s ready to fight for his place.
“I’ll be playing this year for sure,” said Mullins, who is now back in Eureka where he will be completing the semester online. “Last year we had a lot of upperclassmen at the linebacker position and I thought it would be best to save my year of eligibility.”
With no spring ball this year, Mullins has been keeping busy working out on his own.
“I set up a gym in my house with a lot of equipment, so I’ve just been working out at home,” he said.
Despite not playing on last year’s team, which was 8-3 and and beat College of the Sequoias in the Gridiron Classic Bowl, Mullins says he benefitted from his redshirt season, while practicing with the team every day.
In particular, it has helped him adapt to the college level and the speed of the college game.
“It’s been a great experience,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of good players over there. There’s a lot of Division-I talent on this team.”
That talent included Mullins’ former Eureka teammate Isaak Gutierrez, who joined the program out of high school along with Mullins and immediately won the starting job at center.
After earning all-state honors, Gutierrez has since taken his game to the Division-I college level after receiving a scholarship offer from the University of New Mexico.
“He had a great year,” Mullins said of Gutierrez. “I’m very happy for him going to New Mexico.”
Mullins is hoping to take his game to the next level too, and is keeping his future open with the possibility of moving on after next season.
Off the football field, the former Loggers star has adapted to life on campus and says he is enjoying the college lifestyle.
The business major, who has a 3.3 GPA, says he is hoping to own his business some day.