Las Vegas Sun

August 20, 2019

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high school football:

Wingstop Player of the Week: Desert Oasis running back thriving in new offense

Tyshun McClinton

Ray Brewer, iphone photo

Desert Oasis High running back Tyshun McClinton is pictured with Deb Grant, the Las Vegas Area District Manager for Wingstop.

Prep Sports Now

Hail to the Patriots

Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer talk about Liberty's momentous victory over nationally ranked Mililani High last week, while also glancing around the rest of the high school football landscape.

Tyshun McClinton was supposed to be playing high school football this fall in the Dallas area. He left Desert Oasis High last school year after his mother got a new job, but immediately felt out of place.

He pleaded to return to Las Vegas and rejoin his teammates. A few months later, he was back.

“I had to get back to my DO (Desert Oasis) boys. I thought I was the missing piece of the puzzle,” he said.

McClinton, a running back and defensive back, is proving to be that player the Diamondbacks desperately needed. They are 2-0 for the second time in the school’s eight-year history, and McClinton has been the difference maker in both wins.

Last week against Sierra Vista, he had a 65-yard touchdown run and a 70-yard interception return for a score. In the initial week of the season against Durango, he rushed for nearly 200 yards and two touchdowns.

Not bad for someone who stands just 5 feet, 6 inches.

He’s our first Wingstop Player of the Week of the season, proving you don’t need to be the most massive player or part of one of the city’s powerhouse programs to stand out.

“You can’t measure someone’s heart or determination,” he said. “I might be undersized, but I play my heart out.”

McClinton has thrived in first-year coach Brad Talich’s offense. In the spread-option attack, the Diamondback players often rush to the line of scrimmage to start a play and catch the defense off guard. As soon as Talich started installing the offense, McClinton knew he’d have a chance for a breakout season.

“He’s a gem,” Talich said last week. “We’re elated to have him because he’s a heck of player. He’s a little dude, but he’s got a lot of punch in that little body.”

Desert Oasis plays Basic, the city’s sixth-ranked team, Friday in a significant step up in competition. For McClinton, it’s another chance to prove himself.

“I’m a power back. I’m not going to try to make you miss,” McClinton said. “I’m going to try to run you over.”

Wingstop provides the player of the week a $50 gift card, shirt and medal.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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