WHEN JUSTIN MADUBUIKE LINED UP TO RACE for McKinney North’s track and field team in the spring, he felt the stares. He heard the same ques- tion, too, as he prepared for the 100 meter dash.
“Every time I’m out there,” Madubuike said, “I get asked, ‘Hey,
are you a football player?’
Yes, he is a football player – and good enough to stand out as
one of the state’s top recruits in the Class of 2016. But Madubui-
ke stood out just as much when he lined up for the 100 meters.
He is 6-foot- 3 and 245 pounds, after all. So what was the
star defensive end, who also competed in the shot put and
discus, doing on the track? Why was he racing against guys he
could bench press?
He was just trying to get faster, which is more important
than ever for a defensive lineman.
“Everybody’s put such an emphasis on speed because
you have to cover from sideline to sideline,” said San
Antonio Madison coach Mark Smith. “Everybody’s getting
more athletic on offense, so the defense has to be faster.”
It’s the defensive response to the spread offense, the upt-
empo attack with few huddles and lots of quick-hitting plays.
It’s the formation, and philosophy, that started with Rusty
Russell, the famed coach of the Mighty Mites of Fort Worth
Masonic Home from 1927 to 1942. But it didn’t become a
phenomenon until just before the turn of the century.
BY MATT WIXON
Name of the
Kendell Jones is
6-5, 360 pounds
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