Sophomore setter Tyler Herget brought things full circle when he transferred to BYU from Penn State this offseason. Not only had part of his pandemic-interrupted mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints been served in the Provo mission, but his parents, Todd and Nancy, had been student-athletes at the school more than 30 years before. 

“I kind of just felt like I needed a change in my life and I decided to go for it and I ended up at BYU. The guys are great. I love the team. The coaches are phenomenal. … I’ve enjoyed my journey, to say the least.” — BYU volleyball player Tyler Herget on his decision to transfer to BYU

“We did cheer for BYU growing up,” Tyler said. “We were big BYU fans for sure.”

Still, Tyler was not destined for the Provo school, going unrecruited by BYU and watching his older brothers Todd Jr. and Tim play volleyball at Ohio State and Penn State, respectively. 

“It … probably was not the right decision at the time,” BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said about not recruiting Herget out of high school. “It’s good to have him now though. We’re happy that now he’s on our side.”

Tyler followed somewhat in his father’s footsteps to reach his destination at BYU. He began his church mission in Argentina — the same country where his dad served. During the pandemic Tyler was reassigned to Provo. Now as a student-athlete he has returned to the school where his parents donned the “Y” over three decades ago. Tyler’s sport, however, could not be more different than the ones his parents played during their time at BYU. Todd was a linebacker on the football team where he was a Butkus Award candidate and Nancy was on the track team. 

Tyler didn’t begin playing volleyball until he was in high school, where he also competed on the gridiron as a wide receiver. 

“I played football and it was fun,” he said. “But I really wanted to pursue volleyball. It’s a lot faster-paced, in my opinion.”

Before becoming a Cougar, that pursuit took Tyler to Penn State, where he played a couple seasons with his brother, Tim. Despite not seeing the court much for the Nittany Lions, Tyler made his mark.

“When we reached out to Penn State,” Olmstead said, “they had nothing but unbelievable things to say about that kid.” 

Ultimately, Tyler decided to return to Provo; this time to serve in a different way.

“I kind of just felt like I needed a change in my life and I decided to go for it and I ended up at BYU,” Herget said. “The guys are great. I love the team. The coaches are phenomenal. … I’ve enjoyed my journey, to say the least. I’m really happy to be here at BYU.”

But the move to Provo has come with challenges for the Darien, Connecticut, native. As a Cougar, he has gone from essentially a walk-on to a starter in just a few months, all while sorting things out to become a student at BYU.

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“Up until the start of school, he still wasn’t … really a part of our team because we weren’t certain he was going to get into classes,” Olmstead said. “He did everything on his own. So it’s a credit to him.”

From there, Herget had to prove he belonged on Olmstead’s team. 

“When we finally knew he was in and everything was cleared … I brought him into my office. I said, ‘Hey, you can have an extended tryout under NCAA, but I can’t make any promises,’” Olmstead said. “No promises. No guarantees. No nothing. … And very, very quickly (we knew) we’re going to keep this kid around. And I started to tell him that.”

All Herget has done is impress since getting his chance. 

“He didn’t care about everything else around him,” Olmstead said. “(He) just wanted a chance to play.” 

Herget has used his opportunities, working his way from no playing time in the Cougars’ season opener against Ball State to starting setter in the school’s last six matches. His coach has taken notice of his impressive play. 

“He’s done a really nice job,” Olmstead said. “He brings a really, really good energy and (is) very, very competitive. … He’s making a lot of good decisions in transition and he’s become really, really consistent from the service line.”

Herget has expected nothing and earned everything. His consistency, hard work and positivity have begun to pay off, and ultimately, his circuitous journey has brought him right where he feels he belongs.

BYU setter Tyler Herget in action during a match at Smith Fieldhouse in Provo.