Wherever needed, Osseo's Tusler is up for the job

  • Article by: DAVID LA VAQUE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 12, 2012 - 8:20 PM

Multitalented, multifaceted Osseo senior Bridgeport Tusler is always giving of himself, on and off the field.

hide

Osseo’s Bridgeport Tusler accounted for 23 touchdowns this season: 16 on runs, three on catches and four more by other means.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Osseo's Bridgeport Tusler donated blood for the first time last Friday.

He postponed this promise to his girlfriend until after football season, appropriate timing given how much Tusler left of himself on the field. As the Orioles' pillar for success, he played running back and defensive back and returned kicks and punts with equal aplomb.

Teammates admired his dedication. Opposing coaches lauded his competitiveness. Doctors? Well, Tusler can explain.

"I have pretty big veins, I guess, so the doctors were loving me," Tusler said. "They were like, 'Your veins are amazing.'"

So was his senior season.

Tusler rushed for 1,173 yards and 16 touchdowns. He caught 18 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns. He added four additional touchdowns through passing (one), punt returns (two) and on one of his eight interceptions. For everything he did, under and away from the lights, Tusler is the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year.

"[Osseo basketball coach Tim] Theisen and I consider him the best two-sport athlete in the state," Orioles football coach Derrin Lamker said. Tusler helped Osseo win the Class 4A basketball title as a junior. "It's a luxury for a coach when your best player is your hardest worker."

Running back. Slot receiver. Cornerback. Free safety. Return man. Tusler played them all. As Osseo went to a hurry-up offense in a playoff loss to Eden Prairie, Tusler showed savvy amid the confusion by lining up at tight end to avoid an illegal formation penalty.

"I actually got a pancake block on that play," Tusler said. "It was probably the highlight of my year."

Taking a cue from former basketball and football teammate DJ Hebert -- "I don't think he ever lost in a killer [conditioning drill] during practice," Tusler said -- the player called by many shortened versions of his name asserted himself in myriad ways. He stayed after practice to run extra routes. On game days, he bused lunch trays in the cafeteria. And he joined leadership groups at school, casting aside former thought patterns of worrying about his own needs.

"It's not about me," said Tusler, who carries a 3.6 grade-point average. "In high school, people say leave your mark, and I think your mark is what you do for others. I think all of that tied into football. You can be a good player but you have to be a good person first. That's the No. 1 thing I wanted to show the underclassmen."

Admittedly no orator, Tusler displays vocal leadership behind the scenes. Use of an ineligible player forced Osseo to forfeits its first two victories. When approached by teammates, Tusler offered counsel.

"I told them, 'You can't control it so don't get into it,'" Tusler said. "You let it affect you and you have the worst season ever. It's like my dad says, 'Let the blood flow.'"

A keen perspective is important as Tusler ponders his college options. Measuring 5-11, 200 pounds and clocked at a less-than-stellar 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Tusler could find his dream of playing for Jerry Kill and the University of Minnesota out of reach.

"I would love to play for the Gophers, hands down," Tusler said. "But I wouldn't want to commit there just because it's the Gophers and then not play. It's not that I need to play; if I can earn a spot, I'll earn a spot. I don't care about points or highlights, I just want to play and contribute. I want to be like [former Timberwolves role player] Mark Madsen, but I want to maybe play a little bit more."

Tusler, whose first love is football, has drawn North Dakota's interest and plans to visit South Dakota in December.

"If my Division I offers stopped now, I'd probably play Division II and try to play both football and basketball," Tusler said. "Or maybe Division III and try to play both.

"I can't imagine walking off the field after the Eden Prairie game and hanging my helmet up for the last time."

  • related content

  • A closer look at Bridgeport Tusler

    Monday November 12, 2012

    About that first name: His mother, Brandi, liked "Gladiator," a 1992 movie in which co-star James Marshall plays a character originally from Bridgeport, Conn., and gets referred to by his...

  • All-Metro first-team offense

    Monday November 12, 2012

    J.T. DenHartog, Hopkins, sr., QB: Makes plays with his arm, but had a 44-yard winning run against Houston Episcopal and a 91-yard TD run against Minnetonka. Was 147-for-256 for 1,693...

  • All-Metro first-team defense

    Monday November 12, 2012

    Deon Dorvil, Edina, sr., DL: 5-11, 290, DT. Speed and strength in a stout, immoveable frame. A great two-gap player who can occupy two lineman and still slide off and...

  • Chart: All-Metro second team

    Monday November 12, 2012

    Quarterbacks

  • Past Players of the Year, how the team was selected

    Monday November 12, 2012

    The Star Tribune's Metro Players of the Year in football since the award began. All were seniors except for Cretin-Derham Hall's Carl McCullough, who was a junior in 1991.

  • Prep athletes of the week

    Monday November 12, 2012

    It was a big risk that paid off.

  • Prep football - Osseo vs. Totino-Grace. Osseo running back Bridge Tusl...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close