As a freshman on varsity, playing sparingly in blowouts, Ben Oberste remembers the Friday night shows his brother used to put on.
Now a power hitter for the OU baseball team, Matt Oberste was a high-school football star back in 2009, quarterbacking Sallisaw to an 11-2 record his senior year.
“He was a playmaker, game-changer,” Ben said of his brother. “One game against Seminole we were down three touchdowns at half, he comes out and wins the game for us. He always played big in the big games.”
Locally, Matt was revered as one of the city's great three-sport athletes. And publicly, many doubted his brother, Ben, would ever amount to similar accomplishments.
“He heard it,” Sallisaw coach Craig Benson said. “I think that was the fuel that drove that train.”
The year after Matt left, Ben took over the vacant quarterback position, trying to fill his older brother's shoes while also stepping out of his shadow.
“My whole life I've been compared to him,” Ben said. “I've heard people say, ‘He's not like Matt, he can't do what Matt does.' It's not that I want to be better than him, I just want to prove that I'm my own person and I can play football just as good as anybody.”
And Ben, now entering his senior year and No. 13 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list, has firmly cemented a Sallisaw legacy of his own.
Last season, his second as the starting quarterback, Ben threw for 1,771 yards and 20 touchdowns, while also rushing for 753 yards and 13 touchdowns.
That consistent two-way production spoke volumes, earning the 6-foot-2, 203-pound quarterback national attention.
And in April, Ben officially committed to Tulsa, gaining the Division I football scholarship his brother never received.
“Once we tempered his emotions as a sophomore, we knew he could be something special, because of his speed and scores in the weight room,” Benson said. “The one thing he needed to temper was his emotions, because he plays like a linebacker at quarterback.”
As for what he will play at Tulsa, Ben, who was recruited as an athlete, hopes it will remain quarterback.
“I love quarterback and I'd love to play that there,” Ben said. “I know I'm not Tim Tebow, but I model my game after him.”
The Oklahoman's Super 30
No. 13: Ben Oberste
Weight: 203 pounds