Former reserve offensive lineman has worked his way into being an all-conference-caliber nose tackle … a high-school baseball standout, Fernandez owns terrific athleticism to go along with his 320-pound frame, which makes him a force as a pass-rusher and a run-stopper … despite relatively low tackle numbers, is a key component of the defense, drawing double-teams and clogging up running lanes to allow all-conference inside linebackers Eric Boggs and John Law to make plays … enters his final campaign as the clear-cut frontrunner to hold off challenges from fellow senior Darian Small and sophomore Myquon Stout for the starting assignment at nose tackle.
2015: Played in 13 games with 12 starts at nose tackle (only yielding the starting assignment on Senior Day to senior Stephen Burns) … led Appalachian State’s three-man nose-tackle rotation (Burns and Small) with 25 tackles, four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks … turned in perhaps the finest performance of his career with five tackles (four solo) and a sack at eventual national finalist Clemson (Sept. 12) … made at least one stop in 12-of-13 games, including each of the final 10 contests of the season … had three tackles and a tackle for loss in triple-overtime win over Troy (Oct. 31) … followed that up with three more stops in loss to eventual Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State (Nov. 5) … tallied two tackles and a half-sack in regular-season finale at South Alabama (Dec. 5).
2014: Saw action in the first 10 games of the season, making eight starts at nose tackle ... season was cut short when he sustained a serious arm injury during 10th game of the campaign at Arkansas State ... finished with 17 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a half sack in 10 contests ... recorded three stops and was in on a tackle for loss in home opener versus Campbell ... notched a season-high four tackles against South Alabama, which was part of a string of five-straight games with multiple stops (2 at Georgia Southern, 4 vs. South Alabama, 2 vs. Liberty, 2 at Troy, 2 vs. Georgia State) ... was in on the first sack of his career at Troy.
2013: Saw limited action over the first two months of the season, contributing almost exclusively on the Mountaineers’ punt and field goal/PAT units ... with the defensive front thinned by injuries, coaches moved him to nose tackle five days prior to the Nov. 2 contest against Chattanooga ... he made the transition quickly enough to start against UTC ... made four solo tackles in his defensive debut ... after being limited to one tackle at Georgia, had a breakout performance with six stops against Wofford’s vaunted triple-option offense in a 33-21 win over the No. 24-ranked Terriers ... closed the season with three more solo tackles against Western Carolina ... despite playing just four games on the defensive side of the ball, finished the season with 14 tackles (11 solo).
High School: Versatile lineman was a two-time all-conference honoree at right guard and second-team all-conference selection as a nose guard as a senior … also earned all-area recognition as a senior … earned offensive line MVP honors as a junior and senior … helped lead Fuquay-Varina to a 10-2 record in 2011 … coached by Ryan Habich, who is now the head coach at Watauga H.S. in Boone ... was prep teammate of current Appalachian State teammate Ricky Fergerson.
Personal: Full name is Tyson Fernandez Feliz ... born March 4, 1994 (21 years old) ... son of Wanda and Robert Martinez ... is the oldest of three siblings ... majoring in criminal justice.