Track and academics have been the two main issues occupying the mind and the time of Antwon Hight of Canton McKinley High School these days. Hight qualified in the discus for the state meet this past weekend in Columbus and finished seventh while concerns about his grades are the only thing that's keeping him from being one of the top-rated players in the state on the gridiron.
"I've been really concentrating on track so I could place at the state, and I've been trying to get my grades up," said Hight, who is determined to be a qualifier academically. "My grades have gotten a little better. I'm an intelligent kid but I'm just kind of lazy."
At 6-4, 275, Hight is a two-way performer at defensive end and tight end for the Bulldogs, but he knows that his future at the next level is on the defensive side of the ball.
"I prefer defense because it takes a lot of attitude and determination to play on defense," he said. "I think it's a lot more fun than playing on offense, just sitting there and blocking. I like to attack people. Tight end is a good spot, but I'm really not tight end material because I'm 275 pounds, but I got great hands. I play a little fullback too when they need me to block. I'm the lead blocker. But defense is my future."
Hight typically anchors the right side end position where he can use his 4.95-second 40 time to cause havoc at the line of scrimmage or in the opponent's offensive backfield. With his size and agility, Hight can easily man an inside position on defense in college as well.
"I can stop the run but I can get to the quarterback too so I'm pretty well-rounded," Hight said. "I ran a 4.5 (second) shuttle, so I think that's pretty good for 275 pounds."
With those kinds of numbers and his obvious raw ability working to his advantage, it's easy to see why there's so much interest in Hight, who would easily be a top-five talent in the state if it weren't for his uncertain academic status. Ohio High magazine's ranking of Hight as only the 20th best prospect in Ohio this year is obviously a reflection of that.
"I like O-State, West Virginia, Michigan and Pitt," Hight said. "I like Ohio State of course because I live in Ohio and I'm a Buck fan. If things work out, I'd love to be a Buckeye."