Not likely to find a bigger talent than Southmoore's do-it-all Haywood
In Monday’s sports section, The Oklahoman sports writers weighed in on who they thought were the best high school football players in the state. Here’s a case for Southmoore’s do-it-all standout Austin Haywood.
By Justin Harper
If you’re looking for one eye-popping stat, Austin Haywood won’t qualify as the top player in the state. But look at the number of statistical categories Haywood contributes to and it’s easy to make a case.
Haywood, a senior at Southmoore, has a steady stream of Division I-A recruiters courting him because of his immense athletic ability and his versatility. A 6-4, 250-pounder with speed, agility and strength, Haywood serves many roles for the SaberCats: tight end, defensive end, part-time quarterback and occasional running back.
“He’s the best player in the state in my eyes,” said Southmoore coach Chris Jensen. “And I don’t think I’d get any argument from anyone who has seen him play. He’s a tremendous athlete, who helps us in so many ways. He always has to be double-teamed. The kid is just dominant.”
And in a lot of ways.
As a defensive end, the position he figures to play in college, he racked up 39 tackles, two sacks, caused three fumbles, recovered two fumbles, had two interceptions and batted away seven passes — all in just his first four games. Both picks came when he plucked the ball out of the air at point-blank range on the line of scrimmage.
And Haywood doesn’t just come up with turnovers, he comes up with points. He returned one of the two interceptions back for a touchdown (17 yards) and one of the two fumbles for a score (76 yards).
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