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November 8, 2012

Digby balances multiple positions, sports

Where do you start with Tyler Digby?

Digby, a 6-foot-4, 220 pound tight end, plays both football and lacrosse. As if balancing two division one sports wasn't hard enough, Digby's a long way from home. The redshirt junior is from New Westminster, British Columbia in Canada.

With A.J. Dalton likely missing the last two games of the season due to a violation of team rules, Digby is being pressed into left tackle duties, a position he said he has no former experience at. This may be worrisome and stressful to some, but Digby doesn't seem worried.

"It's not a lot different from tight end," he said. "It's got a lot of the same concepts. I'm feeling pretty good."

Digby noted that there are similarities between the two positions which he hopes will make the transition easier. He said that the blocking schemes and language used on the line are very similar to the tight end position.

If the switch to offensive line becomes a permanent one, Digby will have an abbreviated tome in the off-season to learn the position because he is also a midfielder on the lacrosse team. According to NCAA rules, he said, he is not allowed to practice one sport while playing the other because he would go over the amount of hours per week he is allowed to spend on sports. Digby said the rules in place don't affect him too much.

"I try and work as hard as I can in the off-season and try and roll right in to whatever season I'm going in to," he said.

Digby said he doesn't favor one sport over the other and is thankful he gets the opportunity he gets to play two sports, the biggest deciding factor in coming to RMU.

"It's (balancing two sports schedules) difficult at times but both coaches are very lenient and they pretty much allow me to do it, which is great because I know a lot of schools won't let it happen," he said. "I'm very thankful that coach (Joe) Walton and coach (Andrew) McMinn would let me do that."

Digby said that there are similarities between playing tight end in the fall and midfielder in the spring.

"The fact that midfield is kind of a hybrid position as well, you play offense and defense," he said. "Tight end is like blocking and catching, so there's that hybrid. The footwork in both helps both games too."

Playing two sports would be tough for almost everyone, but the burden of your home being in another country would seem almost undoable. But according to Digby, everything has been a smooth transition. He said there hasn't been a culture shock at all and enjoys the current situation of being a two-sport student-athlete.

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