ENID, Okla. —
That widely-embraced approach already has yielded some results. Sophomore lineman Jake Curless is a regular starter, freshman Logan Hise earned a start along the line in last week’s 49-7 thrashing of Pawnee that also included sophomore Zach Swafford’s first career interception and freshman Beaux Biggers’ first touchdown catch.
So far in 2013, five underclassmen have recorded 10 or more tackles or a forced a turnover, three others have scored touchdowns and freshman Connor Pasby hasn’t crossed the goal line, but has 77 yards on 12 carries.
And the consensus is there are more underclassmen coming next season.
“There are some really good-looking kids that can be some linemen down there (in middle school),” said assistant coach Mike Karnes, who is partially in charge of working with young prospects. “We’ve never really had linemen linemen. Like, big kids on the line. We have kids with big hearts that just work their tails off and do a good job and get the job done, but there are some younger kids that are ‘linemen-looking’, that if they buy into the program and do what’s right, they can just keep it going.”
“I’m pretty confident we can sustain it this time,” Rolfe said. “There’s just more effort being put into the program. In years past, we’ve been at the top and we would come back down because no one would really get into the weight room. They weren’t committed like we are this time.”