Not long ago, former Central Oklahoma quarterback Brandon Noohi was in the Los Angeles area working in marketing and wondering what the future of his football career held — if anything.
But now that he’s back in the Oklahoma City metro, he’s back on the path he hopes could take him to the professional ranks.
Noohi is the quarterback for the OKC Diamondbacks, a semi-pro team that has become one of the best in the region, earning a No. 3 ranking in the Gridiron Developmental Football League, a national semi-pro organization.
At 5 p.m. Saturday at Millwood High School, the Diamondbacks — coached by Millwood offensive coordinator Kevin Cox – will take on the Tulsa-based Oklahoma Thunder, a team led by former state stars like Prentiss Elliot and others. Both teams are nationally ranked in the GDFL and have playoff implications riding on the game — along with some bragging rights. The Diamondbacks won the last meeting, snapping the Thunder’s three-year regular-season win streak.
“This game will be fun to watch,” Noohi said. “We know (Tulsa) will be coming with it. But our guys work hard and it shows on Saturdays. We all want to learn and become better players.”
Many of the Diamondbacks players are playing mostly for their love of football, but a few, like Noohi and receiver Ryan Gallimore, are hoping for a chance at the next level.
Gallimore had a few workouts for CFL teams and was in camp with some teams in the Arena Football League.
“I just go out and have fun,” he said. “That’s how I’ve always approached football. You never know who will be at the game, so you’ve got to be at your best. I feel I can play at the next level. I’ll still chase that dream as long as I can.”
Noohi feels much the same way.
“I’m trying to get to the CFL,” he said. “I realized I still had a chance, so when I came back here, that’s all I was looking for. There’s a small percentage of guys who get the opportunity to go to the top levels of pro football. When I came back here, I was just looking for a chance.”