Tyler Earles is keeping his talent on the Butte Hill.
The Butte High tight end signed to play football at Montana Tech on Monday, Oredigger coach Chuck Morrell happily announced.
“We’re excited to have him,” Morrell said of the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Earles, a two-year starter for the Bulldogs. “He runs well and he’s a very versatile athlete. We’re excited to keep him in town.”
Earles was a two-way starter for the Bulldogs. He earned All-State honorable mention at linebacker for the Bulldogs, but the Orediggers plan to take advantage of Earles’ athletic ability at tight end.
Morrell said he’s planning on using Earles in multiple ways to find mismatches with defenders. You’ll see him lined up like a traditional tight end. He will also split out wide, Morrell said.
“He’s got some really big upside,” Morrell said. “We can line him up in multiple positions.”
Earles, who is still in the process of deciding a major, caught 11 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown for the Bulldogs. He also scored a rushing touchdown.
His 2013 receiving numbers were down thanks to a big-time season by receivers Dalton Daum, Peter Granger and Paul Campbell and the emergence of running back Jake Eisenbarth catching passes out of the backfield. Still, Earles leaves Butte High with some impressive numbers for a tight end.
In two seasons with the Bulldog varsity squad, Earles hauled in 48 passes for 714 yards and three touchdowns. He also has a state championship ring for Butte High’s 2012 title.
“He does a tremendous job with the ball in his hands,” Butte High coach Arie Grey said of Earles. “He has big-play potential every time he touches the ball.”
Morrell said he expects Earles to be an even better weapon for the Orediggers once he gets a little bigger.
“He’s 6-4, 200 pounds already,” Morrell said. “I think he’s going to be 225 pounds in a heartbeat.”
Earles is the fourth athlete to sign with Morrell’s Orediggers since the 2013 season ended. He joins Stevensville’s Zach Gavlack and Billings Skyview linemen Trevor Hopf and Jalen Whitley.
“We’ve got a great start to our recruiting class,” Morrell said.
That Earles is from the Mining City gives the signing a little more meaning, Morrell said.
“I’ve got a goal to get the best players around to stay in Butte,” Morrell said. “He’s got a lot of family support in Butte. He’s a pretty quiet guy, but you can tell he’s excited to be an Oredigger.”