Jeremiah “J.T.” Tyler ’22, a former Princeton linebacker and backbone of Princeton’s football defense during his time as a Tiger, signed as a free agent to play with the United States Football League (USFL) Houston Gamblers on Wednesday, March 29.
The United States Football League, re-established in 2022 after existing from 1983 to 1985, plays from April through July of each year.
Tyler, a sociology major who graduated this past spring, had impressive seasons throughout his time at Princeton. With no shortage of accolades or success, Tyler helped the Tigers go 35–5 in his four seasons of play.
During his first-year season in 2016, Tyler was integral in the Tigers’ success in the Ivy League, holding opponents to an average of only 16.4 points and 317.6 total yards per game. He also made major defensive and scoring plays such as his block punt return for a touchdown against Penn, sparking a 28-0 win.
After missing the 2017 season, Tyler returned to Princeton and continued making waves and setting records, earning a second-team All-Ivy League honor due to his impressive 29 recorded tackles, including five for-losses, and two interceptions. With his help, Princeton had its first perfect season since 1964, the No. 4 scoring defense, and No. 7 defense against the run nationally in 2018.
Tyler continued this dominant performance in 2019, including earning unanimous first-team All-Ivy League honors. He also earned finalist recognition for the Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year following 62 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, a fumble recovery, and an interception on the season.
After the Ivy League football hiatus due to COVID-19 in 2020, Tyler returned for his final season in 2021. He picked up right where he left off as a foundational piece of the Tigers’ success.
Tyler led the team in solo tackles (49) and total tackles (58), while remaining a first-team All-Ivy League player and earning the Bushnell Cup winner as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. With a career 163 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks during his play at Princeton, Tyler graduated with high prospects for a postgraduate football career.
Tyler’s success culminated in his signing Wednesday morning to play professionally with the USFL Gamblers. Tyler will begin his professional football career starting with the Gamblers season opener against the Michigan Panthers on April 16.
Tyler did not respond to a request for comment.
Ava Seigel is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’
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