Running back Joe Mixon rushed for seven touchdowns in Freedom High School's first-round playoff victory two months ago, but something else that night made an even bigger impression on the school's athletic director.
When Freedom was on defense, two young boys were playing catch just off the field. Mixon raised his hand toward one of them, who threw him the ball.
“He played catch with him,” AD Steve Amaro said. “I thought, ‘How many kids in a position like him, who is going to be a Division I scholarship athlete, would take time to make an impact on somebody who is 6 or 7 years old?'”
Those sorts of moments are what make Amaro the most proud, and are what he'll miss most about Mixon when he's thousands of miles from Oakley, Calif., next fall in Oklahoma.
“He doesn't see himself as more or less than anybody else,” Amaro said. “He sees himself as a Freedom student, and I think that's very refreshing. Oklahoma's going to be a great place for him, and he'll be a tremendous benefit to the Oklahoma community.”
Mixon, a five-star running back prospect, committed to the Sooners during the U.S. Army All-American Game earlier this month. It was there that Amaro noticed another moment that he believes represents Mixon's humble personality.