Carver Proctor said the weather threw him a curve at first. Almost four years later, though, he's become accustomed to bitter cold and mountainous snow piles that can start as soon as Halloween and continue through Easter.
The defensive back is two games into his senior football season at St. Xavier College in Chicago and said: “I feel blessed to be here. Everything happens for a reason, and it's turned out really well for me. I've had fun.”
Five years ago, when Proctor played for Putnam City High School, he was being recruited by Division I schools such as Tulsa and Rice. Division II programs in Kansas — Emporia State, Fort Hays and Washburn — were interested. Proctor chose Fort Hays, but coaching changes and playing time opportunities started a journey north.
The Oklahoma City native has played college ball at Iowa Central Community College and Winona State in Minnesota. And now St. Xavier, where he helped the Cougars win the NAIA championship in 2011.
“If you told me in high school that I would end up here, I would've said you were crazy,” Proctor said with a laugh.
Saturday will be a little special for Proctor, who will recognize some faces on the opposing team. Langston is the guest at Deaton Memorial Field.
The game will provide a test for each team. St. Xavier is ranked No. 1 with a 2-0 record. Both wins have been by blowout.
Langston is 1-1, with its loss a three-point decision at FCS member Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The victory was a 19-point shutout over a mediocre Bacone club.
Proctor will likely line up against Langston wide receiver Justin Robinson, a former Northeast High standout. Proctor said he and Robinson are friends, although they never played against each other in high school.
“There have been other guys at Langston I've known, but they've all graduated,” Proctor said. “So playing against (Robinson) will be fun. But after the game, they'll get to go back to Oklahoma, close to my home and everything. But I have a good family here, too, my coaches and teammates.”
Sam Moses starts at defensive tackle for Central Oklahoma, which visits Emporia State (Kan.) on Saturday. The possibility exists that Moses will face brother Josh Moses, a backup guard for the Hornets. Both are seniors and stand 6-foot-2. But Josh has a significant advantage in weight over Sam, 306 pounds to 275 pounds.