Tez Doolittle Is Making A Name For Himself

Moses Trettez Doolittle has one of the most memorable names in the Class of 2003, and his game is just as noteworthy.

The 6-31/2, 265-pound Doolittle, known as "Tez", is a multitalented star who can play on either side of the football. Last season he helped pace the Opelika, Ala., Bulldogs to a 10-2 mark playing primarily at defensive end. Doolittle finished his junior campaign with 86 tackles, including 24 for losses, six sacks, an interception and 50 quarterback hurries. He also rushed the ball 48 times for 224 yards and nine touchdowns.

This year the cat-quick Doolittle moved to fullback and is leading Opelika in rushing with over 700 yards and 13 touchdowns. Last week against Benjamin Russell High School, he rushed for 121 yards in 18 carries to spark a 35-3 Bulldog victory.

"That was my first 100-yard rushing game," Doolittle said. "It helped make us 10-0 and we haven't been 10-0 since 1985."

Doolittle continues to play sparingly on defense, but the bulk of his duty is on offense where he's a force as a lead blocker and ball carrier.

"I played defensive end last year and played fullback off and on," he said. "Our starting fullback from last year graduated so they just moved me to fullback full time this year. I play some on defense now, but not much."

Doolittle made the move to offense without complaint and is willing to play either fullback or defensive end at the next level. However since he's still growing, he could eventually end up at defensive tackle.

"Like I said, on the college level I could play fullback or defensive end," Doolittle said. "Each school that asks me I say: ‘whatever you need me at, it doesn't matter to me.' It really doesn't matter; I can run the ball or I can play defense."

Doolittle's versatility is a byproduct of his velocity. Despite a large frame that's capable of carrying 290 pounds, he runs an impressive 4.7 and is rated No. 16 among the nation's defensive line prospects.

He also has quick feet as demonstrated in the shot put and discus. Doolittle won the district and finished fourth in state last spring with a throw of 51'10 in the shot put. He has a personal best in the discus of 163'10. Both field events require excellent quickness, strength and coordination to generate the energy needed to excel.

"I've been offered scholarships in track and field," he said. "I was going to try and do both in college, but I have a buddy who threw the shot put and he said football pretty much takes up his whole life."

Most of Doolittle's current life is taken up with football. When he's not practicing through the week or playing on Friday nights he's visiting college campuses on the weekends. He has made several unofficial visits to Auburn and Alabama this season as well as LSU and South Carolina. He plans to attend the Tennessee-Miami game in Knoxville this week.

"Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida Miami and LSU are the schools I'm looking at," Doolittle said. "I've got an official visit with Alabama on Dec. 15. The way I'd planned was to go during the football season. I guess I'm not going to be able to make it now. I'll have to go after the season. I'm definitely going to try and make all five of my official visits before I make a decision. I'm open. I don't have a favorite."

As unusual as it might sound, Doolittle grew up a fan of both Alabama and Auburn.

"I went back and forth between Alabama and Auburn," he said. "First it was Alabama and as I got older I started wanting to be an Auburn fan. I had teammates going to Auburn, but right now I'm kind of neutral."

Stability in a program and a good education are two things Doolittle is looking for in a college. He plans to major in physical education with the goal of becoming a coach when his playing days are over.

"I'm looking to see how long the head coach is going to be there," he said. "I don't want to commit and the head coach leave and they get a whole new coaching staff up in there. I'm looking at graduation rate and how the facilities are. I went to LSU and they had a new indoor field and Alabama has one. Playing time is part of it, too."

The opportunity for early playing time is something that should make Tennessee attractive since the Vols lose most of their starters and backups in the defensive line to graduation.

"I heard the coaches want me to play defensive line," said Doolittle who is being recruited by UT assistant Pat Washington. "I really haven't talked much to them, but I've got to visit with them. I'm supposed to go to the game this Saturday on an unofficial visit."

Opelika begins its Class 6A playoff run on Friday against Selma which means Doolittle will have to cover a lot of ground to reach Knoxville on Saturday.

On the matter of his name Doolittle has a simple explanation on why he's called Tez.

"My first name I don't like to go by," he said. It's Moses Trettez Doolittle. I just go by Tez because I don't like Moses. I've got my daddy's first name and my mama just made up a middle name I guess."

Doolittle may not like the name Moses, but he is leading the Bulldogs to the Promised Land.

Editor's Note: Look for an in-depth feature on Tez Doolittle in an upcoming issue of Rocky Top News.

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