LOMAX/HATFIELD: Next great Oregonians at OSU?

THE OSU FOOTBALL record books feature prominently homegrown athletes from the Beaver State. Indeed, Derek Anderson left with most of the passing records, Mike Hass most of the receiving marks, Bill Swancutt set several records on D. Might Jack Lomax and Micah Hatfield follow in their footsteps? For answers we asked the writer who followed them religiously, The Lake Oswego Review's Matt Sherman.

It's a long ways from here to there but the next two Oregonians who could rewrite the OSU annuals -- while forming a potent one-two punch -- are Lake Oswego's Jack Lomax and Micah HatfieldMatt Sherman of The Lake Oswego Review sees plenty of potential in the pair, particularly in Lomax.

"If he continues to progress, he could end up being one the Beavers' most successful quarterbacks in recent memory," says Sherman.

Lomax and Hatfield were so effective at times that Lake Oswego, traditionally a run oriented team, chose to let Lomax and company take to the air big-time. The pass-catch duo tore up the Three Rivers League as seniors -- Lomax passed for 3,738 yards and 46 touchdowns with just seven interceptions and Hatfield hauled in 868 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Lomax's fantastic season didn't come as a complete surprise, he of course has a solid football pedigree. Father Neil Lomax is a Beaver State legend, playing at Portland State from 1977-80 where he ended his career holding a ridiculous 90 NCAA records. But few thought Jack would be named the 6A Offensive Player of the Year plus the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Oregon.

According to Sherman, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound QB has decision making skills that belie his years.

"He has good size and although he doesn't have an outright cannon, throws one of the most mature deep balls of any high school quarterback I've ever seen," Sherman said. "He rarely made a bad decision. His (7) interceptions this season rarely seemed to hurt the team significantly.
"(Lomax) is also an underrated scrambler although his speed was showcased a bit more later in the year."

While Lomax's year wasn't a huge surprise, Hatfield's emergence was "shocking" according to Sherman.

Extra time in the weight room and on the football field improving his speed and hands resulted in first team All-State honors on both sides of the ball at receiver and cornerback.

"As one of three or four very talented receivers on the team, Hatfield quickly became the team's big-play receiver," Sherman said. "He is undersized for a Pac-10 receiver or cornerback but he has good speed and athletic ability (he is also a top-flight hurdler) and a knack for staying with a pass."

Hatfield doesn't have bad genes either -- his father, Taylor Hatfield, was a three sport star in high school and ran track at Oregon. Taylor was recently inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.

Both players, Sherman emphasized, likely have considerable work to do in the weight room before seeing any playing time at Oregon State. Adding muscle will be priority number one.

"Hatfield probably has a bit more work to do as, especially for a Pac-10 receiver - he is very small," Sherman says. "He will need to bulk up to handle the physical corners and safeties he will see at the next level."

Muscle and time in the system is a must for any quarterback but after learning Mike Riley's offense at Oregon State, Lomax may well be the next great gunslinger in Corvallis. The signs, said Sherman, are there.

"Lomax has the potential to be a very solid Pac-10 quarterback," Sherman says. "He has natural size although he will likely need to bulk up and he thrives on competition and playing in big moments...Obviously with his family background he is a student of the game and knows what it takes to be successful as a Division-1 quarterback.

When Hatfield and Lomax do earn their playing time, it could remind some of the Anderson-Hass Oregonian connection that was so deadly at Oregon State in the early 2000's.

"(Lomax) has got God-given talent you can't coach," Lake Oswego coach Steve Coury told The Lake Oswego Review. "He's a lot like his dad, but he's a better athlete than his dad."

The Hatfield-Lomax connection accounted for 23-percent of the team's passing yards and 28-percent of the team's passing touchdowns.

OSU assistant Jay Locey on Lomax as told to the Joe Beaver Show - "He is still growing physically. He is a good 6-2, pushing 6-3, but he is athletic. We like his playmaking ability, competitiveness and his leadership. His arm is very good as well. We feel very good about him being a throwing quarterback for us and a leader."

Coury compares Lomax favorably to former Sheldon High star Alex Brink who started 3-plus seasons at Washington State.

OSU assistant Jay Locey on Hatfield as told to the Joe Beaver Show - "Micah came in a camp situation. He came in and had a great showing. We hadn't seen a lot of him because he played more running back then a receiver as a junior. He had great hands, great route running ability, good speed and a skilled athlete. He caught our eye, good routes, crisp, good speed and a real natural with his hands in terms of catching the ball. He stood out and was the guy we wanted."

A big thanks to Matt Sherman of The Lake Oswego Review for providing his insight on both Lomax and Hatfield.

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