Linfield Wildcats

May 28, 2014
The Man of Steele
Vern Marshall Award Winners
Resembling the comic book “Man of Steel” for his toughness, determination and superior skill set, Linfield's Tyler  Steele is the male recipient of the 2013-14 Vern Marshall Award. A strapping defensive tackle from Salem, Steele completed a memorable football career that included two All-America citations, four Northwest Conference championships, and victories in 45 of the 50 games he participated in.
Created in recognition of Hall of Fame athlete Vern Marshall Sr., the Marshall Award is presented annually to the Linfield male and female student-athletes displaying the greatest tenacity.
“Tyler is easily one of the most tenacious, tough, determined guys I've ever been around,” said Linfield defensive coordinator Jackson  Vaughan. “Those qualities are what made him great as a player. There's no question he's talented, but he is so determined not to fail and to perform at his absolute best. From a very early point in his career, he made himself into a very good player.”
Coming off an All-America season in 2011, Steele was again a dominating force for the Wildcats during the first two games of 2012 in what should have been his senior season. But a devastating knee injury suffered against Hardin-Simmons cut short his season, and very nearly his career.
He successfully rehabilitated his torn ligament through a painstaking process that included multiple trips to a local physical therapist. Fully restored, Steele emerged a force one more on the defensive line during the 2013 regular season. Then came another torn knee ligament against Pacific in the regular-season finale, one week after Linfield had clinched the NWC championship.
A starter in 47 games over his career, Steele finished fifth all-time in tackles for loss (46) and sixth in quarterback sacks. (25). As a team, Linfield boasted the top-rated rushing defense in Division III, allowing opponents an average of just 60.2 yards per game on the ground.
“His toughness rubbed off on the rest of our defense and in particular, the entire defensive line,” said Vaughan. “Tyler was definitely a guy who the rest of the team looked toward as being the heart and soul of our defense.”
The Marshall Award was established in honor of 1957 Linfield graduate Vern Marshall Sr., a former athlete and college and professional sports referee who passed away in 2002.
Action Image
Tyler Steele
'Heart and soul of our defense'