Profile: Texas Tech
Friday night, after Waco La Vega defeated Lorena High School by a close score of 27-20 the team gathered in a huddle to hear a few words from head coach Willie Williams. After Williams finished he walked out of the circle, but not one player moved. Into the center of the group walked 6'5 270 pound Starts who also had a few words to say. Starts encouraged his team for fighting to the very last second then led his team in a chant before sending them off.
Starts' leadership skills are something you won't read in his player evaluation, but it's a quality that makes him standout among the rest of the Texas Tech commits. When I asked Starts' head coach Willie Williams after the win why the top prospect is such a special player that same characteristic was the first one that popped into his mind.
"His leadership," Williams said. "Everybody kind of looks up to Mike. They know if we need some critical yards we are going to go behind ‘Big Mike' and he's taken that on his shoulder. The thing that I really respect and admire about Mike is he's getting a lot of recognition and he's just as humble as he can be. He doesn't have a big head. He just goes out there and plays hard every day. I don't know what we would do without him."
Williams also didn't leave without telling us how Starts would be an asset in his playing abilities for the Red Raiders as well.
"His experience at all kinds of positions will help him at Texas Tech," said Williams. "There's a long story behind it, but he's a tight end and we had to talk him and convince him into going offensive tackle. He really didn't want to switch positions, but he made that sacrifice for the team because we felt he would get recruited as an offensive tackle. And we were right. Once we put him at offensive tackle everybody just started coming in on him. He had quite a few choices and he chose Texas Tech. When he's out on the field though he just gives confidence to our entire club out there."
Starts and the La Vega Pirates' next game will be Friday against Connally High School (Waco, Texas) at Mac Peoples Stadium.