For Tulsa Union offensive lineman Brian DeShane, the big break that helped boost his career didn’t come during a season.
It came during the summer before his sophomore year, when All-State lineman Matt Romine was injured and had to sit out.
So instead of watching on the sidelines or playing against just sophomores, DeShane was thrown into the fire, replacing Romine as the Redskins starting left tackle until the senior returned.
“It helped so much,” DeShane said. “It helped get me acclimated with the guys that were there.
“There’s very few sophomores that got to be at the varsity team camp. It helped me learn what I needed to in order to be successful.”
And DeShane was, earning Oklahoman All-State honors during his senior season and helping the Redskins to a 6A state title.
DeShane’s success is due in large part to hard work, teammate and fellow all-stater Tracy Moore said.
“Anytime Jeremy (Smith) or I’m up there working out, Brian’s up there with us,” Moore said. “He’s trying to make himself better constantly.”
DeShane committed to Tulsa early, even before last signing day, and has stood by that commitment even as more high profile programs have pursued him.
“I’ve been in Tulsa just about my entire life,” DeShane said. “I’ve grown up seeing them. This recruiting lcass is something special. The team we have now, the team we’re going to have, being there with coach (Bill) Blankenship (Tulsa assistant coach and former Union head coach) and all the other offensive coaches, it just is a good fit for me.”