Lufkin DC Todd Quick talks Jamarkus McFarland

The top prospect in the state of Texas still considering the Longhorns is Lufkin defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland. With a decision expected from the 6-2.5, 285-pound defensive tackle in short order out of his two finalists, Texas and Oklahoma, Burnt Orange Beat sat down with Lufkin defensive coordinator Todd Quick to get a breakdown of McFarland.

Lufkin defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland has been on the radar of college coaches since bursting onto the scene as a sophomore and stringing together a number of dominant performances. Since that time, the question on many fans mind is where the 6-2.5, 285-pound tackle will play his college football.

After considering programs from around the country and taking official visits to LSU, Oklahoma and Texas, the top national prospect has cut the list to two. It will be a Red River Rivalry battle with McFarland choosing from Oklahoma and Texas in the near future.

With the decision imminent, there couldn't be a better time to catch up with long time Lufkin defensive coordinator Todd Quick to get his thoughts on McFarland's senior season and which position he sees him playing at the next level.

One thing is for certain if one takes in a Lufkin Panthers game, the bull dozing tackle will face double teams on every play and the occasional triple team if need be. Coach Quick says not being in a position to make as many plays as years past has been tough on McFarland.

"It's been tough on him," Quick said. "Everyone knows who he is. He's going to draw a double team every snap, so he's not making as many plays, but he's allowing a lot of other people to make plays," added Quick.

McFarland will soon make the transition from high school player to college player in a matter of months. Coach Quick sees McFarland improving his quickness and transitioning to the college game quickly.

"He'll get better as far as his quickness off the ball. He already has great quickness, and then transition from the run to the pass. They (colleges) do a much better job at the next level understanding down and distance due to time. They can go into a whole lot more detail than we can. He's got all the tools. He's strong, quick and nasty," Quick said.

For the past couple of seasons the powerfully built tackle has played anywhere from the zero to the three technique for the Panthers. Quick, recognized as one of the top defensive coordinators in the state of Texas, says McFarland can play different spots in each scheme.

"Well, it goes to what a team is trying to do. If they are in an Okie front, then he'll probably be a zero. If they are in a four man front or even front, we played him as a three because most of the time it puts him on the declare side. A lot of time in high school, teams are real tight end oriented or wide side of the field. We have gotten to the point now where we are going to mix it up. We've got calls to put him on different sides. He's played the three; he's played the one and also the zero. We play a lot of inside technique or I-4 on the tackles, so he's played all the positions," Quick said.

Quick went on to add what makes McFarland so appealing to college programs from coast to coast.

"He's got such good get off, but is strong enough to not give up any movement in a zero. It just depends on where he'll fit with a scheme. In watching some of the college teams, I see the three getting off the ball and making plays. I see Jamarkus doing that. I also see the backside guy fighting through the double team and making a play. I see him doing that too. He's got the tools to do either one." Quick said.

McFarland and his Lufkin teammates will be back on the field Saturday at 2 pm at Kyle Field in College Station taking on CyRidge led by LSU commit Russell Shepard.

The Panthers advanced to the second round of the 5A division II playoffs with a 28-22 win over Klein last weekend.

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