The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — High school players used to go both ways on a regular basis. Coaches liked to keep their best athletes on the field and only substitute for them for a couple of series every game just to give them a breather.
But nowadays most teams, especially in 6A, have gone away from having players do double duty. It started up in Jenks and has spread out to the rest of the state.
Yet, no schools outside of Tulsa have this type of depth and talent pool to choose from. While many area schools like Southmoore, Norman and Westmoore have certain players who have to play on both sides of the ball, Moore’s Colin Webb is the only one counted on to man quarterback and middle linebacker.
“It’s tough,” Webb said. “You have to change your thinking completely from trying to get to see what you can do to get the defense to mess up, to trying to stop the offense.”
Thursday’s loss to Edmond North was the third time this year Webb has had to play both offense and defense the majority of the snaps. He started out the season as the starting linebacker and backup quarterback.
But when Derek Harris was injured, Webb stepped in under center against Westmoore and never relinquished the spot. He was replaced on defense and he became the starting QB.
However, last week at Yukon, his replacement at linebacker, Josh Robeson, broke his ribs and Webb was called back into action. He replaced Robeson and was back in the starting lineup this week.
“I honestly didn’t think I was going to have to go both ways when the season started,” Webb said. “The physical part is tougher. You have to be in almost top physical shape to go both ways.”
The physical toll caught up to Webb against the Huskies when he had to leave the game with a concussion after being hit by an ENH defender.
“I knew immediately something was wrong,” Webb said. “I looked over at the sideline and everything was blurry and I couldn’t see the signals.”
Webb said it was his third or fourth concussion he’s had in his life. But only the second in his high school career.
“It’s a tough thing to do,” Moore coach Todd Watters said. “He did it last week in the second half. He did for most of this game. But it came back and bit us in the rear end and caught up to us. Tough way he plays, but he plays it with a lot of courage. He’s done a great job for us.”
Because of his talent and massive injuries throughout the roster, Moore can’t afford to be without Webb on both sides of the ball. Offensively, he leads the team with 705 yards rushing, 487 yards passing and 10 touchdowns. On defense, he’s in the middle of the action on almost every play.
“Probably the most violent position in football is the Mike linebacker, which it should be, and he plays it that way,” Watters said. “And as an option quarterback, you are going to take hits. It’s not like you are just handing the ball off and throwing the ball. So he’s taking shots there. He’s playing probably the two most violent positions on the field.”
Webb said it’s tough for him to choose between which he likes best. But lucky or unlucky for him, he won’t have to make that choice. If he is cleared by the doctors, Webb said he will be back in the starting lineup this week when the Lions (2-6) travel to Norman to take on Norman North (7-1).
“I get hit pretty hard at both spots,” Webb said. “I just look at it as if my coach needs me to play both ways, I will play both ways.”
Michael KinneyFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org
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