EDMOND — Boasting long red hair in a pony tail and a bushy, red beard, Edmond Memorial's Jordan Weltzheimer was aware Wednesday his style is about to change.
The 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive lineman signed his national letter of intent to play football at Air Force, essentially signing away a style he's had since his freshman year that earned him the nickname “Big Red.”
“I'll just cut it, trim it up and shave it,” Weltzheimer said. “It doesn't really matter to me. It's just something I did in high school. If I get out of the military, maybe I'll do it again. I might decide I like short hair better.”
Weltzheimer always had a dream of playing Division I football. He's also an Eagle Scout who has earned three Palms, and he's had a strong interest in the military, which made the Falcons a perfect match.
It also helped that Memorial has become a small pipeline for the academy with Weltzheimer becoming the third Bulldog in four years to sign there.
“I think it all started with Will Conant to where they really started coming around our program and see how we emphasize character and discipline and what we do,” Memorial coach Justin Merideth said. “I think they respect that.
“Obviously, it starts with our kids going up there and having some success. They like what they see with our program, and they keep coming back. I'm very happy they do.”
Conant is currently a kicker for the Falcons, while former Memorial quarterback Ry Huff has converted to a tight end.
It's Huff who Weltzheimer is most familiar with, and he's a reason he felt comfortable choosing to play in Colorado after both Yale and Army lost interest.
“I know some people there, and it's a really nice campus, so those were factors that went into it,” Weltzheimer said.
Merideth said he expects Weltzheimer to continue his development into a top lineman at the academy. He was already that with the Bulldogs, anchoring a line that helped produce 235.5 rushing yards per game.
Weltzheimer, despite his size, hopes he can become a pilot.
“I think I am going to try to get my pilot's license,” he said. “I can't fly a jet because I'm too heavy and too tall, but maybe a cargo plane or something.”
He'll just have to fly with a new style, no matter how different it will be for everybody else.
“I've known him for four years and he's never had short hair or shaved his beard, so that'll be interesting,” Merideth said. “He's got that Viking look going.”