“In Texas theres two things, religion and football, and football is religion,” said Tyrell Herndon. Little did former Javelina football player know that football, would turn into boxing, for him.
Given Herndon’s unique combination of size and speed, he dominated at the high school level earning him all state, and all district honors while playing for Copperas Cove High School. On the verge of becoming an Dividion I athlete, Herndon received some bad news involving his grades.
“My grades kind of threw me off; I was doing enough to pass, but not enough to go DI,” said Herndon.
With hopes to make it to play Division I football, Herndon decided to go to Kilgore Junior College, so he could play another two years of football, and show that he could make the grades to transfer to a university. After having a fantastic first year at Kilgore Junior College, both academically and on he field, Herndon had a couple of offers from division one schools.
“I succeded there at football and athletics and football,”said Herndon
However, things did not pan out as Herndon expected. With Division I schools such as Arkansas and Missouri heavily interested in him going into his second year at Kilgore, Herndon ended up hurting his wrist late in the fourth quarter of his third game that year.
“I missed a tackle on the hit him wrong, and kind of twisted my arm up weird,” said Herndon
Herndon decided to put ice on it and go to the hospital where they thought it was just a sprain, but due to the pain continuing, he decided to get a second opinion.
“[My wrist was dislocated because] I waited so long to get a second opinion,”said Herndon
As a result of Herndon’s wrist being dislocated, his division one dreams were crushed. Contact between Arkansas and Missouri began to slow down, but a new found hope resurrected Herndon as another college started to show interest in him.“Thats when [Kingsville] popped up, and [Coach Atterberry] was like ‘ hey man, Ive seen your tape and I really like you. I know you got [the wrist injury] but we will bring you in, and rehab you”
Herndon would accept Coach Atterberry’s offer in the spring of 2007 and ended up transferring that same year to Texas A&M-Kingsville where he spent the remainder of the semester rehabbing.
After a semester of rehabbing, Herndon was finally back on the field and played his first season as a Javelina in which he started in all the games that season. In His second season, Herndon faced a new challenge after his college sweetheart had their daughter Mia Herndon. Now having more motivation to make it pro, Herndon once again started in all the games in which the Javelinas just barely missed out on winning the conference title by one game.
With the teams success, and Herndon’s play on the field, a couple of NFL(national football league) teams interested in him such as the Eagles, Giants, Packers, and Lions. The only thing he needed to do was just run a 4.5 second forty yard dash time at his pro day combine. “I was clocking a 4.5, and thats what they liked, but when it came down to running for them i clocked a 4.7,” said Herndon
Herndon would go on to graduate from A&M-Kingsville in 2009 as a criminal justice major, and pursue his football career playing arena football for the Billings Outlaws in which he won a championship in his first year there. Herndon would earn defensive player of the game and catch the eyes of a few NFL scouts.
Unfortunately, talks would slow down due to interest in another player that the Packers had already been in contact with. So Herndon decided to continue to play arena ball in hopes of gaining more interest from NFL teams, but for the Richmond Revolution. After a season with the Revolution, Herndon began to question his football future, as the NFL lockout would take place that year 2011.
“I kind of shut it down from there,that soured my taste,” said Herndon
Herndon would then begin working and with some encouragement from his roommate at the time he began boxing in his spare time.“I went in and day by day kept getting at it. The sport was good to me and I actually started off being good at it,” said Herndon
Other than watching a few Mike Tyson fights Herndon had no previous training, and began his amateur career by winning two LBC(local boxing committee) tournament, and a golden glove tournament as he earned a amateur record of 21-4. Feeling good about his success so far as an amateur. Herndon decided to link up with trainer Rick Morones, a twelve year professional trainer that had never worked with a heavyweight fighter before in hopes to turn pro.
Morones, Reluctant to agree to take on a heavyweight fighter changed his mind after seeing Herndon. “He’s naturally athletic, has quick feet, and hands, so it’s always exciting to have a heavyweight like that.” Morones said.
Herndon would go on to earn a record of 4-0 as a pro with Morones in his corner as his trainer, and see’s a lot of similarities and differences between boxing and football.
“It’s not a team sport, its an individual sport, besides the trainer you’re the only one out there,” said Herndon.