Hitting the Mark

Midland High alumnus Andrew Wylie has been in the NFL for nearly two years. He had his best season with the Kansas City Chiefs last season, making it as far as the AFC Championship. Ads Coordinator Jacob W. May | Staff Writer Mary Kent | Staff Writer Megan Shaffer

Above: Wylie makes a grand entrance onto the field with his team before a home game at Arrowhead Stadium. Right: Wylie defends quarterback Patrick Mahomes in a game against the Bengals on October 21, 2018. The Chiefs went on to win with a score of 45-10, Wylie and the offensive line allowed only two sacks. Photo Courtesy: Steve Sanders of the Kansas City Chiefs

While playing at Midland High, Andrew Wylie had one goal in mind when he stepped onto the field in the Midland Community Stadium on Friday nights: to play in the National Football League. In fact, he transferred from Hemlock to Midland halfway through his freshman year in order to have a greater chance to be recognized for his skill level. As an offensive lineman and class of 2012 graduate, Wylie helped the football team earn a 9-2 record his senior year.
But his days of football didn’t stop at Midland High. As he continued to chase his is goal of being in the NFL, Wylie went to Eastern Michigan University as a two star recruit. There he continued to have success playing as both an offensive tackle and an offensive guard. Then on May 15, 2017, his dream became a reality.
He got a call from the Indianapolis Colts, in which they informed him of an offer to sign to the team as an undrafted free agent. While he took the offer, he was later released from the team’s practice squad on Sept. 27 of the same year. After being released, Wylie ending up being traded to three different teams in the 2017-2018 season, before he finally ended up landing with the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 20, 2017.
“My rookie year it was hard not knowing if I had a job or not, it kind of weighs on you a little bit,” said Wylie.
In the 2018-2019 season, Wylie played in all 16 regular season games, and was a starter in 10 of them. He was given this opportunity after a season-ending injury to Chiefs’ starting guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
“It felt great,” Wylie said. “I was playing against the best athletes in the world.”
But Wylie wasn’t just a replacement for Duvernay-Tardif. He soon found himself as a key member on the Chiefs’ offensive line, guarding quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who won the Most Valuable Player award for the 2018 season.
Wylie was also well accepted in Kansas City. To conclude the 2018 season, his teammates voted for him as the best first year player, winning the Mack Lee Hill award.
“To have my teammates vote for me to win that award was a great feeling,” Wylie said. “To know you have your teammates and coaches think that highly of you is really special.”
Playing with the Chiefs, Wylie also spent his first year as a starter in the playoffs, making it as far as the AFC Championship. In that game, Wylie and the Chiefs suffered a 31-37 overtime loss to the New England Patriots.
“It was a hard game, I remember going in and it was the coldest game of the season too,” Wylie said. “We were playing at home in Kansas City and the crowd was absolutely ecstatic and going crazy, which added onto the feeling of playing for a spot in the Super Bowl. There was a lot on the line that game and we were going against Tom Brady and a great New England Patriots team.”
Wylie attributed his time playing at Midland as a foundation for his current success in the NFL, laying the foundation for his career.
”It was a great time. Some of the best memories of my life come from playing football at Midland High,” Wylie said. “It was truly an honor, we had a really great group of guys.”
Varsity football coach Eric Methner had the chance to work with Wylie for three years.
“He was a tremendous worker, we were very fortunate he moved here his freshman year and played right away on varsity with us,” Methner said.
As a football coach, Methner is very impressed by Wylie and the skill set he has that the helped him to go from playing as a backup to working his way to becoming a starter.
“The amount of work and perseverance and resilience he showed has been awesome,” Methner said. “People can’t imagine the work ethic and commitment it takes to get on an NFL roster and then to work his way into the starting position.”
Wylie’s parents, Deb and Scott Wylie have supported Andrew throughout his football journey. They remember signing him up for youth football, his transfer to Midland High, and the steps he took to play football after high school.
“Coach Methner said he should play D1,” Scott said. “They worked together to create opportunities for exposure, and we went to different camps. The coaches at the camps showed a lot of interest and it just blossomed from there.”
This led to Andrew being recruited to play at Eastern Michigan. But it was four years later when he had first been signed onto the Indianapolis Colts when they realized that Andrew was making it big. Deb described that she felt elation and excitement on the day when she first found out that Andrew had become a pro.
“As parents we want our kids to live their dreams, and we were blessed and happy to be a part of that,” Deb said. “His growth, maturity, and ability to relate to other people increased exponentially.”