Introducing 2003 LB recruit Wade Koehl

"I'm really excited to get to help make this program a national power again. " - Wade Koehl

2003 recruit LB Wade Koehl of Midland High School gives CoogFans his perspective on football, family and becoming one of the newest Houston Cougars.

DD - Wade, tell us about the highlights from Midland's 2003 season.
WK - We won the first five games, the pre-district games against Lubbock Coronado, El Paso Montwood, Lubbock Monterey, Andrews, and Amarillo. Even before that we demolished El Paso Hanks in a scrimmage... I think the final score was 63-7, with their first team scoring on our second team defense, and the coaches were NOT happy. We walked away with all of them except Lubbock Monterey, where we did not have a very good game, and they did. They came into the game with an 0-3 record, after playing some of the top teams in the state, so not everyone was prepared. We ended up scoring with 17 seconds left to win the game.

District didn't start out so good; we lost our first game to Abilene cooper in double overtime. We had a touchdown pass on 4th down in the second that we thought was pass-interference, but it wasn't called, so they won with a field goal. The next game was against Abilene high, in Abilene, and if you have ever seen a game in Abilene, you know the refs call for the other team. The refs didn't help us out any that game, and we lost again. We learned a valuable lesson through those two games and I believe we went further because of this. We learned that since we weren't an established program, we weren't going to get any calls for us from the refs, so we couldn't to leave the game up to chance. From that point on, we played our games all out, not just enough to win. We then beat Permian, Odessa, and lee. The Lee game was one of the big highlights of the season, because MHS hadn't beaten lee since 1988 if I'm not mistaken, and we not only beat them, but slaughtered them 49-0.

The first playoff game was against Duncanville, who had wonderful athletes. We beat them with a field goal as time ran out from about 2 yards out. After that we played Lubbock Coronado again, and beat them by the same 35 pt margin. That was our last easy game. We then played in the Alamodome against Arlington Lamar. The defense stepped up that game with some VERY hard hitting. I think we knocked off seven or eight helmets of theirs over the course of the game. We won that game through hard hitting. The next game was in Texas stadium against Tyler Lee, who I believe was the most talented team we faced all year. Duncanville was a close second, though. At the end of the half, it was tied 7-7, and our single-back had not been working well. We came out in the second half and ran them over with two back. So that game I didn't get much of a break, going from fullback to linebacker and back again the whole second half. It was wonderful! The next game was the state finals against Converse Judson, and we did not play very well. We had more fumbles in the first half than we had all year I believe. I fumbled, TJ did too, and Ryan as well. We came out second half focused, and took care of business, and scored with about 21 seconds left i believe? Then they came out and threw a long bomb and lucked out, but lets not talk about that. The guy covering him learned a great lesson, don't celebrate until the game is over.

DD - Midland football has a proud history and the 2003 team had some real talent with TJ Barber, Herb City, Tyler Yenzer and others, how did it rate with some of the other great Midland teams of the past in your opinion?
WK - There have been talented players in the past, but never as many as we had this year. We also were able to combine toughness and finesse to become virtually unstoppable, with our own errors being the only holdback.

DD - Tell us about Head Football Coach Craig Yenzer.
WK - He is a great guy, and an excellent offensive coordinator. The offense was perfect for our players, and Coach ¥enzer knew when to call what.

DD - What team and what player did you find to be the most challenging?
WK - The most challenging team for us was Tyler Lee, because of the athletic ability they had. They had some wonderful athletes, and they executed very well.

DD - What other activities/sports do you participate in currently?
WK - This spring I played in a fun church basketball league, ran track for school, and boxed in a tournament. In track I ran the 100, 4 by 100, and 4 by 200. My best 100 time was a 10.64 with the wind, and my best split in the 800 relay was a 22.74. We also did a boxing tourney to raise money for make a wish foundation. I won both my matches in that.

DD - What hobbies or other interests do you have?
WK - I love to work on and drive cars. I built a 1973 Plymouth Duster, putting a 408 ci smallblock with lots of race goodies on it. I also am very active in my church.

DD - Tell us a little about your family.
WK - My dad is the music minister at First Baptist Church here, and my mom is a social worker for Midland Fair Havens, a shelter for women and children. I have an older brother studying business at Baylor, as well as two younger sisters, about to be a junior and about to be an 8th grader.

DD - Tell us about your recruitment. What other schools recruited you? Who recruited you for UH and how did that develop?
WK - I was recruited, to some extent, by Baylor and A&M before their coaching changes, and afterwards only by Baylor. Most schools already had given out all their scholarships by the time they discovered me, and wanted me to walk on and get a scholarship in a year or two. UH started recruiting me the week before signing day, when Coach Spradlin, a former Midland Christian head coach called me. I went and visited that weekend, and then it was a done deal.

DD - It must be a thrill to be part of Coach Briles' first class, how does it feel?
WK - I'm really excited to get to help make this program a national power again. At Midland High, we had the longest running playoff drought at 51-years, which we broke, so I know about not having a great history. Even though UH has, just more than a few years ago.

DD - What was attractive to you about coming to UH?
WK - It's a great school for academics, and the coaching staff is outstanding.

DD - What was your recruiting visit like, what took place?
WK - We met all the coaches, talked to academic advisers, ate at really nice restaurants, and toured the campus.

DD - Coming from West Texas was the city of Houston what you had imagined?
WK - Pretty much...BIG.

DD - Do you want to play right away or would you prefer to redshirt?
WK - It doesn't matter to me, but I want to come in prepared to play, so if they need me I am ready. I want them to have a hard time redshirting me.

Wade scores on a fumble in the State Finals against Converse Judson.

DD - What are your current physical attributes (height, weight, 40-time)?
WK - I'm about 6'3" and weigh about 214 right now. I run a 4.5.

DD - What do you plan to study at UH?
WK - Business, most likely.

DD - Do you have anything that you would like to tell the CoogFans out there?
WK - We Will Win.

Wade, thanks for the interview and good luck as a Houston Cougar. Here's another great recruit by the Briles team and yes, it appears that our future is indeed bright.

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