Milford teen trying to overcome illness to play football at Penn State

A Milford teen is beating the odds on his way to becoming possibly one of the fastest players in college football.

Mark Sudol

Nov 18, 2022, 10:31 PM

Updated 614 days ago

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A Milford teen is beating the odds on his way to becoming possibly one of the fastest players in college football.
Tyler Tortora, 18, has had an up and down athletic career.
He was once considered one of the fastest high school running backs in the country. Tortora won two state titles at Saint Joes in Trumbull, the only two years he played. A severe bout with ulcerative colitis sent him to the sidelines.
"It was years of being in a hospital bed fighting for my life. At one point, I couldn't walk," said Tortora.
In April, Tortora told News 12 Connecticut most of his intestines were removed.
After multiple hospitalizations and surgeries and two near-death experiences, he's getting back to his old self.
"There's no more bag, my small intestines are connected together, and all that's left is a scar," said Tortora.
Since his last surgery in June, he is training every day to make his comeback to the football field.
"I want to be able to go out and prove that I'm still that person who was that great athlete at one point, but now I'm older so I can be better than that athlete," said Tortora.
Tortora is training in hopes of playing one more year somewhere as a postgraduate. He's visited Penn State and hopes to eventually play there.
"I want to experience that a few more times," said Tortora.
Tortora is now an optimist after all he has been through, including losing his mother to brain cancer when he was 12.
"So that's the way I look at it. Not what if it doesn't work out, but what if it does work out?" said Tortora.
Tortora continues to build his strength - now just 25 pounds away from his old weight of 200 pounds.
Tortora is currently chasing some of the NFL combine records.


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