Tyrrel Eddington is tired of the Bakersfield heat. He’s tired of breaking a sweat just walking out the front door in the morning.
Come mid-spring, the 340-pound defensive lineman won’t really have to worry about that anymore.
Eddington, an East Bakersfield High graduate and soon-to-be Bakersfield College graduate, signed to play football at Eastern Michigan during National Signing Day on Wednesday. He’ll join EMU for the end of spring practice once he’s finished at BC.
“It feels great,” Eddington said just after signing his National Letter of Intent. “Stress relief knowing that I get to take another step to play football somewhere else.”
The two-time all-conference defensive lineman for BC took his visit to Eastern Michigan — a Division I school in the Mid-American Conference — over the weekend. He went bowling with the team, toured the school and watched the Detroit Pistons take on the Miami Heat.
The key element was that the current players welcomed him in like family, Eddington said. He enjoyed the cold, too, of course.
“Michigan is a great place,” Eddington said. “It is cold for a lot of guys. For me, I didn’t even wear a sweater when I was out there. It felt really good. So I get my chance to go play somewhere where it’s cold and I’m gonna enjoy it.”
It was difficult road for Eddington, who struggled with anger issues during his high school career and tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He still accepted a scholarship offer from Sacramento State out of high school but an issue with his SAT score kept him off the squad.
“Hard,” Eddington said of the working his way to Division I football. “I mean, I dealt with injuries, school, some mishaps with school. Thankfully, I managed to have a lot of people support me that have led me and helped me through this process.”
Eddington wants to get a degree in physical education before pursuing professional football.
Eddington finished the 2017 season with 29 tackles in his eight games for the Renegades. His year was hampered by injury, but Eddington tied for the team lead with five sacks.
Also signing at BC on Wednesday was wide receiver Jeffery Jones. The St. Louis native signed with the University of New Mexico.
“The bond I felt with the coaches and everything,” Jones said of his deciding factor. “I felt like they were good coaches, they were gonna put me in the right position to do the things that I want to do moving forward that was the main thing that I was focused on.”
Jones also took his visit over the weekend. He has a friend on the team already and admired the athletic facilities, campus and city of Albuquerque.
He also wants to get his degree and attempt to play in the NFL.
“I can’t help but smile,” Jones said after he signed his NLI.