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This is not the first Civil War for Thomas Tyner.

It is, however, Tyner's first as a member of the Oregon State football team.

Tyner was on the University of Oregon's sideline in the past and after Saturday's game will have been in the unusual position of having played for both schools in the game.

"It will definitely be a little weird," Tyner said. "But I'm more excited than anything, just because of the whole rivalry and that game is so big for the state, and being able to play it again and for another team is something different — not a lot of people get to do that and so it's a very unique situation. So I'm more excited than anything."

Tyner played for UO in 2013-14 and sat out 2015 due to a shoulder injury before taking a medical retirement in 2016.

He decided to come out of retirement and transferred to Oregon State.

Tyner was a fan of the Beavers while growing up in Oregon. He went to Aloha High, where he was a highly regarded running back recruit.

"It means a lot playing in this game. I grew up watching it as a kid. I remember in elementary school and middle school they would always have like little cupcakes, they would have orange and black cupcakes and green and yellow cupcakes and I would always end up picking the orange and black ones," Tyner said.

"It will be fun to get out there and play for the other team because not a lot of people can do that."

There will be quite a few familiar faces on the other sideline for Tyner to greet before or after the game.

There will be no time for pleasantries during the game.

"I still keep in touch with some of the guys down there and we're all still friends and we're excited to get back on the field against each other," Tyner said.

"I'm definitely excited to see those guys and compete against those guys. It will be fun to get out there and see what we can do."

Tyner has rushed for 274 yards and three touchdowns and caught five passes for 42 yards this season.

He was slowed by nagging injuries earlier in the season but has been healthy in recent games and has worked his way into the primary backup spot to Ryan Nall.

"Part of it has just been the pecking order with the way Thomas has been playing, the way he's been running the ball," OSU co-offensive coordinator Kevin McGiven said. "Early on it was more (Artavis Pierce) in that role spelling Ryan and now it's kind of reversed a little bit where even in our one-back packages where we get Thomas Tyner in there as our second back and so that's limited AP a little bit, and then some of those two-back packages where we get Ryan on the field and Tyner would be the start in that two-back package.

"Sometimes it's just kind of how the rotation works out, but there's been a definite effort to use Thomas Tyner more in the offense."

Tyner has a few options after the season. He can petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility and it seems promising that the result would be positive.

He can look into his stock with the NFL, or find work off the football field and maybe find more time for fishing, a pastime he enjoys, along with hunting. Tyner went fishing during the second half of last year's Civil War.

He is taking his time, waiting to see who OSU hires as coach and where he might be taken in the NFL draft.

"It's just kind of a day-by-day thing for me," Tyner said. "I love football and I definitely want to see where I can go with it and I definitely want to use all my potential and see where I can go. A lot of people would love to be in my shoes and love to come back and play or get a chance to play at the next level. We'll just see, day by day. But I always have it in the back of my mind that I love football and maybe it's not time to give it up. Maybe it is, but not a lot of people have this kind of opportunity, so we'll see."


Sports Reporter

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