Glenville's Jefferson Moving Full-Speed Ahead

Helping Glenville win a state track championship only reinforced the notion that Kyle Jefferson is a track guy playing football. Although he wouldn't trade his stellar performance at the state meet for anything, Jefferson hopes to parlay that success to the gridiron in his senior season and prove that his eight football scholarship offers he's accumulated, thus far, are more than legitimate.

With the state track championship more than a week behind him now, Kyle Jefferson of Glenville High School was on the initial leg of the Second-Annual Ted Ginn Bus Tour when he received another scholarship offer for football.

"I got an offer from Ball State (Friday). That gives me eight or nine now," said Jefferson on Saturday, the second day of the tour, just after camping at Marshall en route to Cincinnati for day three. "I'm doing great out here so far. We're all having a lot of fun. We're like one big team. We're like brothers."

With football offers already in hand from Miami (Ohio), Bowling Green, Akron, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan State and Wisconsin to go along with the most recent one from Ball State, Jefferson still can't seem to shake the stigma of being referred to as a track guy playing football.

Playing an impressive role in helping Glenville win their fourth-consecutive Division I track championship only reinforced that perception, undoubtedly, in some minds.

Jefferson was a member of the 4X200 relay team that took first-place at the state meet and he finished second to Brandon Saine in the 400 meters. But it was his impressive anchor leg in the 4X400 that clinched the state title for the Tarblooders at the state meet.

"I dreamed a lot about it. I had a week to dream about it and my dream came true," said Jefferson shortly after Glenville avenged an earlier defeat in the season in the 4X400 against Trotwood. "Today was my (18th) birthday and we won state on my birthday so my dream came true."

Jefferson ran the anchor leg of the 4X400 at the state meet after running the third leg in the regionals and throughout the track season.




"My strategy was to get out the first 100 (meters) and just try to keep the lead," said Jefferson who already had a good-size lead when he took the baton. "And no matter what, to win at all costs."

Striding comfortably down the back stretch, Jefferson said he first heard the competition from the Trotwood anchor closing in with about 150 meters remaining in the race.

"I really didn't change anything. I knew when it came to the 100 it was time for me to go," said Jefferson of his somewhat surreal experience. "It was scary. I heard the fans. You really hear yourself running. The baton has a little whistle sound to. It was really scary for me. I was scared to death. When I'm running by myself, I tend to get scared. I'm still not used to running by myself, I'm usually running with competition, so I was kind of nervous."

Despite the anxiety, Jefferson knew he was in the right place at the right time.

"I'm always nervous," he said. "But my coaches taught me well. They taught me what to do and I did my job."

Glenville led by two points going into the final event of the day and a second-place finish to Trotwood in the 4X400 would result in a tie for the team championship.

"It just felt good to me because I'm the team captain and when it comes down to it and we need the points, they come to me," Jefferson said. "It was an opportunity to show that I can do it and I did it for my team and for my seniors so they can be state champs."

He said he couldn't have had a better birthday.

"This is like the best birthday ever," Jefferson said. "You win the state championship with your team and I won a gold and silver. I couldn't wish for nothing else. If I never had another birthday, this is the best one. I'm very happy with my day."

In a way it was an athletic baptism for Jefferson who already has all of the measurables that a college football coaching staff is looking for in a wide receiver prospect.

"This does a lot for me. It means that I ain't no punk, I ain't no chump," he said. "I can come out here and perform. I can come out here and win events for my team. I can come out here and do different stuff. It's a big confidence booster for me. It's a big everything."

It's obvious that he's really starting to believe in himself. At 6-4 and 195 pounds, the raw potential that Jefferson displayed on the gridiron at times last season and in a couple of combines since is nothing short of astounding.

"I believe in myself," Jefferson said. "Back in the tenth grade I had a little confidence problem but now that's all behind me. I'm at the top now and I don't think anybody can stop me."

And now he's ready to tackle football season. Jefferson was the only junior to earn substantial playing time on a senior-laden offense at Glenville last season.

"I'm ready to go. That's all I can say," Jefferson said. "I'm ready to go. I'm ready to lead my team to any victory we need."

If the transformation does indeed carry on over into his senior season on the gridiron, then the sky is the limit for Jefferson.


Photo Gallery : Kyle Jefferson at the State Meet


Jefferson earned a first-place in the 4X200 relay...



...a second-place in the 400-meters...



...and in the 4X400 relay...



...Jefferson thought about what he needed to do...



...waited calmly on the baton to get to him...



...and then brought home the team state title...



...by taking first-place in the 4X400 relay.


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