EDMOND — As far as Edmond Memorial football coach Justin Merideth is concerned, the best thing about Bulldogs' tailback Warren Wand is that he is just a sophomore.
“That's definitely a good thing for us,” Merideth said.
Wand is The Oklahoman's Player of the Week after scoring four touchdowns — three rushing and one receiving — in Edmond Memorial's 56-35 victory Friday night at Choctaw.
The diminutive tailback rushed for 320 yards on 25 carries against the Yellow Jackets and caught two passes for 63 yards. He accounted for 383 of the Bulldogs' 476 yards of total offense.
Wand has gained 1,247 yards on the ground this season to lead all Class 6A runners.
Edmond Memorial coaches identified Wand as a talent as an eighth-grader at Central Middle School.
“His eighth-grade year, we had an idea he was a really good player,” Merideth said. “Where he really started shining and becoming somebody that we really noticed was his freshman year.
“Our freshman coach put him at quarterback so he would have the ball in his hands every play. From day one, he just started making unbelievable plays.”
Wand reminded Bulldog coaches of another Edmond Memorial standout quarterback, Kameron Doolittle.
Wand started this season at quarterback, rushing for 129 yards against Edmond North in the season opener but not completing a pass.
Wand is only 5-foot-6 and has difficulty seeing over the offensive line, so Bulldog coaches moved him to tailback and inserted Stillwater transfer Tyler Holcomb, who is 6-4, at quarterback.
Wand has rushed for at least 100 yards in every game this season and often leaves would-be tacklers grabbing nothing but air.
“He is a real slippery guy,” Edmond North linebacker Brock Byford said of Wand. “He has real good balance, and if you don't wrap him up, he is eighty-eight and out the gate.”
Merideth said he didn't realize just how impressive Wand was on Friday night until watching the game film.
“Then I kind of realized, man, that was an unbelievable performance, not only by Warren, but our whole offense,” Merideth said. “Our offensive line the last two weeks has really stepped up and improved and opened some pretty big holes for him.”
In addition to his elusiveness and 4.49 speed in the 40, Wand also is one of the five strongest players on the Bulldogs, Merideth said.
“He has got great make you miss ability, but if he has to put his shoulder down and run through you, he can,” Merideth said.
College recruiters haven't started contacting Wand yet, but it's just a matter of time, Merideth said.
“That will change, I'm sure, very quickly,” he said. “As long as he keeps working as he is now, he definitely has the talent and ability (to be a Division I player). The opportunity should be there for him when he gets to be a senior.”