High School Players Agree Stars Are Targets

September 28, 2012 / Football
USA Today


Rocky Mount (Rocky Mount, N.C.) running back Mason Hines explodes out of the backfield so fast that you’d swear his 4.5-second 40-yard dash was clocked with a defective stopwatch.

He can stop on a dime so precise that he makes would-be tacklers stars in his highlight videos, and once he hits the sideline… Fah-getta-bout-it.

“You’re not catching me, unless you play for Oregon or something,” said Hines of the notoriously fast Ducks.

Still, for all those reasons and more, the opposing team’s defense has one mission coming into a game.

“They want to take me out,” said Hines, a senior. “It’s not something I think, it’s something they tell me all game. That’s just how it is in this game. They know who I am and who the rest of the key guys are on our team and they tell us the whole game. That’s their goal.”

It’s not exactly the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, where coaches and players shelled out cash to teammates who injured the opposing team’s stars, but elite players maintain that the goal of taking them out of commission, even briefly, is well known among players.

St. Pius X Catholic (Atlanta) star Nick Glass plays both ways for the Golden Lions and said that as a running back “injury threats” are as common as touchdowns.

“I don’t remember a game when I didn’t get threatened by another player saying I wouldn’t finish the whole game,” said Glass, a junior who doubles as a safety and is committed to Georgia. “A lot of my friends play football and say the same thing. It’s the law of the jungle out here. The reality is if I stay down after a hit and they have to call the trainers out, the guy who hit me is gonna get hi-fives from his whole team and all his coaches. That’s just the truth.”

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