What about him in particular stands out to you?
To be able to draw the attention of a school like Ohio State and to think that you can succeed there, as hard as you think you’re working in high school you’re going to have to go beyond that. He’s been willing to do that. He puts time in to hone his skill.
When did you realize you had a Division I prospect on your hands?
Sophomore year. We’re not Ohio football back here, but we don’t usually have sophomores up on the varsity. To play regularly is even more of an exception. Maybe this is a bad example, but (MLB All-Star) Joe Mauer didn’t play on the varsity as a sophomore, and he ended up being the Gatorade National Player of the Year (as a quarterback at Cretin-Derham Hall). For a sophomore to step up and find a role and play regularly, that’s pretty rare here.
What are some of the traits that allow him to be successful?
He’s always been fast. The way he gets off the ball… I don’t know if he’s going to beat anyone in the 100-yard dash that can really run, but I don’t think you’re going to find too many people quicker than him in a space of about five yards.
Is there a play or performance of his that sums up his athletic ability?
I have a memory of him beating the running back to get to the quarterback and holding them by their helmets like it was a Three Stooges movie. He’s got them in a double headlock. And yeah, it was a scrimmage and it wasn’t against guys who are going to Ohio State, but that’s one that sticks in my mind. He went by people like they were standing still.
How would you describe his personality?
He’s a pretty soft-spoken and quiet kid. He’s not wandering around through the student body with a sign that says ‘Look at me’ taped to his back. He’s a pretty low-key guy, and I like that about him.