As Jose watched KU lose to Texas Tech on television from his home in La Puente, CA, the 6-6, 255 OL couldn’t help but think of the start to his own season.
Just like the Jayhawks, Jose Rodriguez’ current high school squad is off to a 2-2 start this year and has already suffered through a high scoring, heartbreaker that slipped away in the final minutes. Bishop Amat High School started their season with a pair of losses and has since battled back to even up their record.
“We lost in a thriller in week one where we got beat late on a big play that broke a 33-33 tie with Vista,” Rodriguez explained. “After that we didn’t exactly rebound well in week two against Valencia. We finally got it going in week three (in a 21-13 win over Glendora) and then last week we took on Charter Oak, a really good Valley team. We just really beat them up though. The final was 28-0. Our defense played really well and so did the offense.”
The consecutive wins have Rodriguez and his Lancer teammates smiling again and they can’t wait to get back out on the field this week and battle Damien.
“The Damien game will be our homecoming, so we’re really looking forward to that,” Rodriguez said.
So, how is Rodriguez performing, individually?
“I’m doing pretty good, actually. Our running back, William Wagner, got over 200 yards last game, so that felt good. It’s been a good season so far.”
Rodriguez is definitely enjoying life as a senior but also looks forward to the college journey that awaits him at Kansas next fall – he just won’t let those day dreams affect his focus on the current Bishop Amat season.
“I really can’t think about it as much because I need to help lead my current team. I’m not going to sit back and say I already have what I need. I need to keep working hard and focusing on the present because I want to try to get my team to a championship.”
Being able to focus on the challenge at hand is important to Rodriguez and part of why he got his decision out of the way early when he picked Kansas late this spring. The future Jayhawk prides himself on his work ethic and he strives hard to better himself and his team with each chance he gets. Rodriguez is excited to get to Kansas next fall and really start to see improvement in his strength and technique. He saw what a red-shirt year did for his older brother and because he’s committed to being the best player he can be, he wouldn’t be opposed to taking a similar path.
“I’m pretty willing to do it because I need to improve my strength and everything else. A year in the system with the coaches (would be great). They can really help me perfect everything else.”
With his Kansas career still a ways away, Rodriguez will keep on working hard for Bishop Amat High and watching his future teammates from afar. While his sights are firmly set on his homecoming opponent, Damien High, Rodriguez does have an opinion to share on KU’s next challenge – Saturday’s game in Lincoln, versus the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
“I think they might pull off the upset. I think the offense will put it together and you know the defense is playing well.”
Check back soon for more on this future Kansas offensive lineman.