Photo: Nike/Jon Lopez
Tyler Bertram brought his recruitment to a close today as he verbally committed to UNC-Charlotte. Bertram not only announced his commitment, but also that he will reclassify from the class of 2019 to 2018 and redshirt his freshman year. Tyler Bertram established himself as one of the top sharpshooters in the nation this past year with Vermont Academy and the NY Renaissance. As a result, Bertram added offers and some high level interest. He spoke to Prep Circuit on why he picked UNC-Charlotte over the rest of his suitors and more.
Q: What school have you decided on?
A: “I’m going to leave Vermont Academy this year and go to UNC-Charlotte and redshirt this year.”
Q: Why was UNC-Charlotte the place for you?
A: When I was down at UNC-Charlotte I hit it off with the coaches really well. I loved them a lot, all of them. I think what they’re about to do with the program is really good. I thought when I was hanging out with the team I got along and bonded well with them and I could see myself playing with them. The third piece is I watched a practice, I watched how their offense was going to be run and I see myself playing in that type of offense, which is what was really most important. Lastly, when I was on campus, when I was there with the guys hanging out, I just envisioned myself there and I got to the point where I didn’t want to go anywhere else, I just knew I wanted to go there.”
Q: Why have you decided to reclassify up and redshirt your freshman year?
A: “I didn’t want to go a year early and actually play this year, it was on the table, they asked me to come a year early but they never asked me to redshirt, the redshirt was my idea. Afterwards, I told my dad, that I wanted to go to Charlotte. Then he talked to me and he said if you know you want to go there and not look anywhere else, why not just go now and have that extra year of working with the trainers, learning the system, playing with the older guys. Then I realized it would make me that much better.”
Q: Did you ever consider playing your first year at UNC-Charlotte instead of redshirting?
A: “That was an option before I even visited, they told me if I wanted to come for 2018 and play I could. I told them I kind of didn’t want to. Then yesterday morning, after me and my dad talked, we called them and said, ‘Hey, would you take Tyler and let him redshirt this year.’ They were all over it. They were like ‘we love that, that would be amazing.”
Q: You held some higher offers, but decided to go with a school that has been recruiting you for quite some time. Why did you decide to take this route?
A: “At that point when it’s so late and they haven’t offered yet, it’s almost like you’re taking a really big chance. You’re taking a chance of losing a scholarship from a school that you really like. It kind of got to the point where I was like, I don’t want to lose the schools I really like. I realized after AAU that if I’m playing with guys that have a bunch of talent, I don’t want to get caught up in the wrong system. I don’t want to be sitting in the corner, but I thought maybe I should go to a mid-major school like UNC Charlotte. It’s in a great conference, I thought I’ll have more of an impact and I can handle the ball a lot more.”
Q: How do you plan on getting the most out of your redshirt year?
A: “I think the most important thing is getting bigger and stronger. I think that will be the biggest thing.”