Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
When San Diego St. quarterback handed off to Rashaad Penny on the Aztecs’ first offensive play of last Saturday’s game against U.S. Davis, Tyler Roemer became the first Fernley High School graduate to start an NCAA Division 1 FBS game.
Roemer, a 6-foot-7, 305-pound redshirt freshman who will turn 20 in March, started at left tackle and helped the Aztecs to a 38-17 win over the Aggies.
Roemer is one of four offensive linemen who made their first career starts for the Aztecs last Saturday. San Diego St. lost four senior offensive linemen from last year’s two-time Mountain West defending champion, who had combined for 130 career starts and allowed the Aztecs to become the first team in FBS history with both a 2,000-yard (Donnel Pumphrey) and 1,000-yard rusher (Rashaad Penny) in the same season.
In Saturday’s game, Roemer and the new offensive line helped pave the way as Penny ran for 197 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. In all, the Aztecs rushed 52 times for 276 yards. The line also protected Chapman, who completed 16 of 21 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. In all, the Aztecs completed 17 of 23 passes for 237 yards, with two sacks.
“I was happy for the offensive line,” San Diego St. coach Rocky Long said. “We know those two guys can run with the ball. But they don’t get to run with the ball unless the big boys upfront do a pretty good job and I thought the offensive line got better as the game went along.”
At Fernley, Roemer was an all-league and all-state player as both an offensive and defensive lineman and was the Division IA-North Lineman of the Year his senior season in 2015. When he signed with San Diego St., Roemer became the first Fernley graduate to earn a Division I FBS football scholarship.
“He’s fairly athletic on the D-line, and that’s why we like him on the O-line, because we think that will really translate over to being a good athlete,” San Diego St. assistant coach Jeff Horton said the day Roemer signed. “He’s a guy that his ceiling is really high and we’re excited about him.”
Roemer traveled the entire season last year as the backup to senior Kwayde Miller, but ultimately did not play and ended up redshirting. He came out of spring practice as the projected starting left tackle for the Aztecs, and solidified his starting spot this fall.
Roemer is the son of William and Tara Roemer and is majoring in business administration.