Dakota Boxwell knows what you're thinking.
He's the “hillbilly kid” whose barehanded fishing hobby was set to end his high school football career. He's the Noble senior quarterback who tore up his throwing hand on a piece of rebar while trying to snag a catfish.
Doctors looked at the severed tendon in his thumb and told Boxwell he'd thrown his last football.
And just about the time the Noble noodler became a national story — USA Today and ESPN picked it up — Boxwell recast it. Defying doctors and his own coaches' plans, Boxwell authored the comeback story of Week 1 in Oklahoma high school football.
Slated to play receiver the first three weeks because of an inability to take snaps, Boxwell passed for one touchdown and ran for another Friday night in Noble's 35-7 victory at Tecumseh.
“I wish people would not look at me as some hillbilly kid that just goes noodling and fishing,” Boxwell said. “I have a 3.9 grade-point average and I am in all AP (Advanced Placement) classes.”
Meaning he's smart enough to know noodling comes with risks. Boxwell insists he takes safety precautions, including wearing gloves.
But that didn't keep him from snagging his hand on rebar sticking out of a piece of concrete someone threw into the Canadian River.
After facing his angry and bewildered coaches, Boxwell started throwing the day after doctors told him he was finished as a passer.