Southmoore's Jaelon Walker is ready for a breakout performance.
“I feel like there's a lot I can still do better,” Walker said. “There's still a lot of room for improvement there.”
During the SaberCats' scrimmages, Southmoore coach Jeff Brickman saw what Walker was capable of doing.
Through the first three games — all Southmoore wins — the junior has been solid but has yet to show that explosiveness.
“He's maybe just one tackle away from breaking something wide open,” Brickman said. “Right now, he's usually getting about 10 touches rushing and several catches a game. What he's doing, though is allowing us to get in and out of formations quick. We're trying to push the tempo as best we can and with him, we don't have to change personnel. He's such a versatile athlete.”
Walker can line up at receiver — usually in the slot — or in the backfield at running back.
He has rushed for 120 yards and has 99 yards receiving as Southmoore enters district play Thursday night against Edmond Santa Fe.
“He really hasn't had a huge game statistics-wise yet, but he's close,” Brickman said.
Walker's dual role places a heavy load on his shoulders.
“It's real demanding mentally, because he has to know everything we're going in the run game, all the formations, and all the routes we run in the passing game,” Brickman said.
Walker likes doing a little bit of everything.
“I really love this position,” Walker said. “I get to do a lot of different things and I like to be everywhere on the field.”
Walker's versatility helps open up the game for Southmoore's other skill-position players — guys like quarterback Tre Edwards, tight end Jackson Stallings, receiver Jalen Adams and running back Karltrell Henderson.
“It's a great advantage to have a guy like him out there,” Stallings said. “He can run between the tackles when we need it or break outside.
“What Jaelon provides coming out of the backfield or lining up wherever he does complements all of us very well.”
As a freshman, Walker played quarterback, but Brickman, then an assistant, and the rest of Southmoore's coaches quickly realized his skill set could be better utilized in other spots.
His hands, though, have been a pleasant surprise.
“Early on as a sophomore, we realized we needed to move him there,” Brickman said. “We weren't sure how he'd handle being in that spot, but once we found out he played point guard for the basketball team, we knew he could handle it.”
Two weeks ago, Southmoore beat rival Westmoore in double overtime. Last week, it struggled at times against Moore before pulling away late.
Now, Southmoore gets a shot against another of the top teams in the state in Edmond Santa Fe.
“We needed a little adversity,” Walker said. “You never want anything to come too easy. There's a lot we could've done differently, and we're getting those things fixed this week.”