One of the most accomplished pass catchers in the West, San Jose State University junior wide receiver Tyler Winston is at the mid-point of his college career. His 21 consecutive games with at least one reception is one of the top-10 figures nationally entering the 2015 season according to research conducted by the University of Louisiana Monroe.
His perspective on the game is understated, but his individual accomplishments to date are not. The 2013 Mountain West Freshman of the Year already has 136 pass receptions and 10 touchdowns in two seasons. He was a second team all-conference wide receiver a year ago.
Winston's focus doesn't waiver even though he is working with his third wide receivers coach in as many seasons.
"What separates us from the past years I've been here is we have a lot more competition during the practice, but we leave it out on the field and we are still close as a family after practice," says the 6-foot-2, 191-pound junior from Antelope, Caiif., who feels he still can get bigger, faster and stronger with good strength and conditioning work habits. The end result may be more yards after the catch and longer pass plays.
In 2014, Winston tied for 21st nationally with 78 receptions for 694 yards. As a freshman, he had four 100-plus yard receiving games compared to none a year ago.
"I have to break more tackles. As long as we're all out there catching the balls and making plays, moving the ball down the field and scoring touchdowns, I don't think it really matters what my individual yards per catch is," Winston says about his 8.9 yards per catch figure for last year.
"This team has more than enough playmakers on both sides of the ball. We have a lot of guys coming back, a lot of guys with experience. We're seeing some great stuff out of the new guys. I think we'll be pretty special this year.
"All of them (the new wide receivers) are doing a great job so far. They're all picking up the playbook very well, interacting with the veterans. We're all getting along pretty well."
Winston gained an added measure of notoriety last year as one of two current Spartan football players to be a two-sport athlete. Quarterback Mitch Ravizza was the first as a long-time member of the baseball team who was a quarterback at the end of last season. Winston came to the rescue of the San Jose State men's basketball program playing one non-conference game as a reserve guard.
"A few jokes about it every now and then, but not anything serious. Career-high four points -- can't complain," he says.
Season and individual tickets for all San Jose State home football games are available by calling (408) 924-SJTX or by visiting sjsuspartans.com.