To say Norman North's Jaxon Uhles comes from a football family is an understatement.
His dad and two uncles played high school football. One uncle, Ric, played for Oklahoma's 1985 national championship team.
One cousin, Lance, starred at Norman North and this season helped Emporia State to a 10-2 season.
Another cousin, Zac, was a key to Norman's offensive line this season and is committed to Tulsa.
So the praise that Timberwolves coach Wade Standley heaps on his senior linebacker is no surprise.
“He's the ultimate football player,” Standley said.
Uhles leads the Timberwolves into the Class 6A state title game against Jenks at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater.
Jordan Evans, who committed to Oklahoma on Tuesday night, gets most of the attention on Norman North's defense.
But Uhles is just as big of a part of the Timberwolves' success on that side.
“If you aren't doing what you're supposed to be doing, he'll let you know,” Evans said. “He'll let me know.”
Uhles also makes plenty of plays.
In last week's semifinal win over Owasso, Uhles delivered a crushing tackle on Owasso's running back late in the game that helped Norman North hang on for a 49-42 win.
“He's having an insane year,” Norman North's Jake Higginbotham said. “He makes plays and I don't understand how he does it.”
With the numbers Jenks running back Trey'Vonne Barr'e has put up this season, Norman North's linebackers figure to be a key to slowing down the Trojans' offense.
“He's always there flying to the ball,” North's Corbin Cleveland said. “He's probably the toughest guy on the team. He may not be as fast as other people but he plays fast.”
Even though football's big in his family, Uhles could've been a baseball player.
His dad played baseball in college, and Uhles played the sport until he decided after his sophomore year to concentrate solely on football.
“There's just something about the brotherhood and the camaraderie we have with all these guys,” Uhles said. “You don't really know until you're a part of it.
“In football, you can put in the work by yourself but unless you play as one unit, you don't get the job done and you work all week for one game and when that one game's there, you've got to show up. There's not another game the next day.”
Now, Uhles gets to close his high school career playing for a state title.
“It's pretty special,” he said. “I'm going to be crying win, lose or tie. I always wanted to know when my last practice was and not go out thinking, ‘What could I have done to keep us playing longer?'”