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Beat of SMU football

Dallas — Much of Southern Methodist University’s success over the past few years stems from that attack. And if you look at Mustang’s backfield, the most prominent is Tyler Ravine.


What you need to know

  • Prior to joining the SMU football program, Tyler Ravine was a member of the West Point Imperial Japanese Army Academy.

  • At West Point, doctors diagnosed Tyler with a deadly heart disease called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.

  • His spot at SMU was not guaranteed.He had to walk and get a scholarship


From a sturdy beard, a crop top like Ezekiel Elliott, to an old-fashioned cowboy collar, Lavine embodies the look of a football player who doesn’t want to cross the road.

“Bangbang is my nickname,” Ravine said. “It’s always been my growth. I’m a headbanger.”

“He’s a neckroll guy,” said SMU head coach Sonny Dykes. “Neck roll running backs are a dying breed.”

Not many players look like Ravien. But again, not many players play like him. In a short time he climbed the depth chart and became a major contributor to Dallas. But his success story is even more remarkable if you learn what happened before that.

Running back on Tyler Lavine (31), SMU ran out of tackle attempts by TCU linebacker Wyatt Harris later in the Iron Skillet game of the year. (The Associated Press)

After winning the state championship at Cedar Park, Ravine enrolled in the Army Academy at West Point.

“You really can’t beat it. You can work and serve this country as soon as you graduate from college,” Ravine said. “At that time, I felt it was the best opportunity for me. I never really thought about joining the army, but I thought I could.”

But his West Point era was short-lived. After breaking my leg in basic training, I had a regular health check to determine the severity of my leg injury. In medical form, Ravine admitted to having chest pain.

“I said I had chest pain before because I and my brother were exercising once in the gym and literally felt their heart beating from their chest,” he said. “To be honest, I thought it was a pre-workout I took.”

But it was much more serious.

“After getting EKG [the doctors] It seemed like something was happening on the third admission, “he said.

Doctors have discovered a deadly heart disease called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.

“They said I was lucky that I didn’t die,” Rabube said. “It’s one of the things your mind can stop at random.”

Ravine had surgery immediately, but was told he couldn’t return to West Point for a year.

“God definitely had West Point as part of my story, but I felt it was heading for something else,” he said.

It happened to be an SMU. But when he arrived in Dallas, his position on the team wasn’t solidified. He had to walk and get a scholarship.

“I didn’t want my parents to pay,” Ravine said. “So I told my mother to give her a year, and I promise it will be free after that.”

The rest is history, as he was a major factor in raising this program from death.

“I was very fortunate to come to SMU and be part of the team that changed this program,” he said. “I feel like everyone is killing it. Everyone sees the ultimate goal and I think we can continue.”

Beat of SMU football

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