'Tarzan' takes aim at Weber State receiving records

Oct 3 2009 - 12:03am

OGDEN -- He hasn't cut his hair in three years, thus earning the nickname "Tarzan" by plenty of his teammates and coaches. Perhaps Tim Toone should instead be dubbed "Samson" because ever since he refused to cut his hair he has broken records and is on pace to be the best wide receiver in Weber State history.

Not bad for someone who contemplated not returning during his first season as a Wildcat.

Oh, and being referred to as the man who was raised by apes in the African jungle is just fine by Toone.

"I take it as a compliment because he's ripped," Toone said. "He's a good-looking guy."

The senior from Peoria, Ariz., already owns the Weber State record for most career touchdown receptions with 23, a number that grew by two scores last week including the game-winning touchdown with 17 seconds left in WSU's 36-29 win at Portland State. Another receiving record could fall today since Toone is just 27 yards away from becoming WSU's career leader in receiving yards. Wade Orton finished his career in 1988 with 2,922 yards, and Toone will likely break that mark with a catch or two today as the No. 11 Wildcats take on Montana State.

He's also 54 receptions away from passing Trevor Shaw's career mark of 206 career receptions, which he set from 1989-1993.

"It's a team thing, it's nothing really on my part," said Toone, who comes into today's game with 153 career receptions for 2,896 yards. "I just go out there and do what they tell me. If one person doesn't do the right thing then I wouldn't be able to do anything. It just shows how much the team's improved to be able to be breaking records every year."

But even with an outstanding quarterback like Cameron Higgins throwing the ball and a great offensive line providing pass protection, Toone has more to do with his records than he likes to take credit for.

"He's a technician and runs good routes," said WSU coach Ron McBride. "He's hard to cover. He's hard to double cover."

This kind of an outcome was not expected at the start of his college career.

Toone, who was originally recruited by former coach Jerry Graybeal, redshirted in 2003 before serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in West Africa. While he was gone, living in the land of Tarzan, the Wildcats had a coaching change and McBride was hired. Toone had to send film to the new coaching staff and was worried that he might not get a scholarship offer to WSU again, but that fear was put to rest when McBride watched the tape.

"We liked what we saw on the film so we knew we wanted him," McBride said.

Still, his freshman season in 2006 was difficult.

He caught just seven passes in eight games, but made an impact on special teams by returning a punt for a touchdown in a victory over Eastern Washington. Not playing so much was difficult on Toone, who wasn't sure about his future at Weber State.

"It was rough and I didn't know if I wanted to do it anymore," Toone said. "But I love the game, I love competing and you stick to something, you work hard and improve and you grow to love it."

While his performance on the field has grabbed people's attention, Toone has also become noticeable from his unique hairstyle.

In preparation for the Wildcats' game at Hawaii last season, Toone and some of his teammates decided to put dreadlocks in their hair. Toone, who had already let his hair grow a little longer than usual, was the only one who followed through on the plan. He decided to keep the dreads and after that people started referring to him as the main character from the Walt Disney animation, or in McBride's case, "that guy from the old movies."

The wild-looking hair won't be around for long. Although there have been some professional football scouts interested in Toone, as of now the senior is planning on apply to grad school and pursuing a career in physical therapy.

When that happens, Toone figures he'll cut his hair short again. "I've got to look more like a typical person, I guess," Toone said.

But until then, Wildcat fans hope to see the dreadlocks overflowing under Toone's helmet as he becomes the best receiver in Wildcat history.

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