By Robert Przybylo
I’ve had my eye out on this story since the end of last season. I don’t know, I just think it’s crazy that Atoka’s L.T. Pfaff is going to set the state passing record Friday night at Hugo.
All he needs is to throw for 118 yards, and it’s all his. He will surpass former Deer Creek and Owasso (and Tulsa) star Paul Smith. The record is 9,574 yards.
How has “Little Terry” Pfaff survived? He’s 5-10 and 152 pounds. He starts at free safety. He’s been starting since Week 4 of his freshman season. How has he done it?
I don’t know, but I think his numbers are impressive, and he deserves some recognition.
Career stats: 103 touchdowns (93 passing, 10 rushing). 9,457 passing yards. 964 rushing yards. 148 tackles, three interceptions.
Look for much more on Pfaff in Friday’s paper.
Anyway, I don’t know if I have the answer of if Justin Mitchell has the answer, but I’ll pose the question: Can/will Pfaff play in college? Mitchell is the publisher of OKVarsity.com, the Oklahoma high school site in the Rivals.com network.
Here’s a Q&A with Mitchell who has seen Pfaff at a number of recruiting camps:
Robert Przybylo: What does Pfaff do well?
Justin Mitchell: When you look at Pfaff, the first thing you see is how nice of a ball he throws. He doesn’t have a cannon, but he has an arm strong enough to make all the throws and he really throws a nice, accurate catchable ball. He also has a great feel for the throw to make. He knows when to put some air underneath the ball or when to put some velocity on it and most importantly, where to throw the football where his receiver is the only person that can catch the ball.
Przybylo: Obviously his size is a big detriment. But is there something Pfaff could actually work on that he could control?
Mitchell: Every kid can do it and obviously should do it, but getting in the weight room is even more important when you’re 5-10, 150. There’s always a transition to the college game and getting bigger, stronger and faster but when you’re undersized that difference between the athletes that are right across the line from you grows bigger. And he’s already good at it but he’s going to have to continue to improve on throwing the football on the run. Due to his size, he’s not the ideal guy to be under center and making drops but it certainly helps when you can boot out and move the pocket a little bit to help getting him out to edge where he can see down field and make things happen with his arm.
Przybylo: Could you ever envision a Division I team taking a chance on a kid like this?
Mitchell: I could definitely see that happening. More so than any position, when you’re evaluating the quarterback position you have to look at the players’ past production and their make-up. Your looking for “it”. That ability to make plays and be a leader in the huddle when you need them to be. You see that when you look at L.T.’s high school career. A lot of players would have trouble throwing for nine or ten thousand yards in practice against air. You can’t do something like that unless you can play.
Przybylo: Do you know of any teams that have shown interest?
Mitchell: He’s not been getting a lot of division-I attention other than letters and questionnaires, but the vast majority of his interest has come from the I-AA level and below from what I can tell.
Przybylo: Small WRs are finally getting some love despite their lack of size (Wes Welker, David Glidden) because of how well they produce on the field. Are teams sleeping on a kid like Pfaff who has had great success despite playing in pretty much anonymity in SE Oklahoma? I’ve asked ‘could’ a team take a chance. Now I wanna know ‘should’ a team take a chance?
Mitchell: When you look at a kid like L.T., he’s such a great kid. The people around Atoka love him. He’s always upbeat and smiling and that’s the type of kid that you want in a program. Like I said earlier, the kid can obviously play or he wouldn’t have thrown for ten thousand yards in high school. Plus, you see your Wes Welkers of the world that are told that they don’t belong in Division-I that work their butts off to prove that they do. He’s just a competitor and he wants to win.