LSU Football Flashback: Herb Tyler
Question: Who was the last starting quarterback to help guide the LSU Tigers to a bowl game before the Nick Saban era began in 2000?
Answer: Herb Tyler
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Tyler was a standout athlete at O. Perry Walker High in New Orleans, where he lettered in football, baseball, and track.
During his prep football career, Tyler completed 52 of 115 passes for 820 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for 736 yards and 12 touchdowns.
After an extremely successful high school career, Tyler elected to play his college football at LSU, under head coach Gerry DiNardo and was part of the Tigers’ 1995 recruiting class.
As a freshman in 1995, Tyler stepped in for injured starter Jamie Howard late in the year, and promptly led the Tigers to three victories, including the final two of the regular season that placed LSU in the Independence Bowl and clinched a winning season.
Despite playing in only four games, Tyler was named the Knoxville News Sentinel's Freshman All-SEC Team, after completing 45-of-69 passes for 589 yards, along with five touchdowns and two interceptions, while helping LSU to a 7-4-1 record, and an Independence Bowl victory over Michigan St.
In 1996, as a sophomore, Tyler started every game at quarterback, completing 109-of-188 passes for 1,688, along with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions, while helping the Tigers to an impressive 10-2 record, including a 10-7 win over Clemson in the Peach Bowl, as LSU was #12 in the final AP Poll. He finished third passing efficiency in the SEC, behind Florida's Danny Wuerffel and Tennessee's Peyton Manning, and also tied the school record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with seven.
Tyler continued his consistent, durable play as a junior in 1997, starting every game, completing 127-of-209 passes for 1,581 yards, along with ten touchdowns and seven interceptions, helping the Tigers to a 9-3 finish, and a win over Notre Dame in the Independence Bowl, as well as a #13 ranking in the final AP Poll.
The 6-foot, 205-pound Tyler had his best season as a senior in 1998, completing 153-of-250 passes for 2,018 yards, along with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions, despite the Tigers slumping and finishing 4-7.
During his senior campaign, Tyler finished third in the SEC in passing and broke the school record with 25 total touchdowns (18 passing and seven rushing), and became only the third quarterback in LSU history to surpass the 2,000-yard mark in a single season.
Over his four-year LSU career, Tyler threw 5,876 yards and 40 touchdowns, while being intercepted 24 times. He also ran for another 778 yards and 23 touchdowns.
With all the success that LSU has had in the 15 years he's been gone, people tend to forget that Tyler was one of the most successful quarterbacks in school history, finishing his career with a record of 27-11, giving him the second most victories by an LSU starting quarterback. He ended his career as the school's all-time fifth-leading passer, and his 23 career rushing touchdowns is tops in LSU history among quarterbacks
After graduating from LSU, Tyler has spent some time in the National Indoor Football League.