The video didn’t lie.
As Southlake Carroll’s 2016 football team felt the pinch of injuries, head coach Hal Wasson and his staff began looking to fill gaps. They filled a major gap from watching the field goal team.
On what could be described as a nothing play, then-sophomore Jacob Doddridge’s effort and technique was showcased. And when coaches reviewed the three games in which Doddridge blocked a field goal attempt, they were sold. Not only did he continue with his role with the defense, but he was moved to the offense to play H-back and tight end.
“We lost eight guys to injuries,” Wasson said. “When Jacob blocked on those plays, he was like a hammer. He locked up guys. So when you’re game planning and know you had to ad lib, you know that he’s going to contribute and be versatile.”
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Doddridge helped Carroll to the 2016 District 5-6A championship and a 10-2 record before the Dragons fell to eventual Division II state champion DeSoto in the area round. In addition to 54 total tackles, Doddridge collected 11 that went for a loss, three sacks and an interception.
When Carroll begins 2017 fall workouts on Aug. 14, Doddridge will be asked to give of himself just like he did in 2016. Normally a linebacker, Doddridge (6-3, 225) will be a starting defensive end. With an influx of linebackers, Doddridge will be a mainstay on the defensive front.
His offensive duties won’t change, either. The three-year starter will again assume the same roles. And he won’t mind picking up a rushing attempt if that’s what is needed.
You have to have the mindset of wanting to have the flexibility to do what it takes to win.
Multi-position Carroll football player Jacob Doddridge
“I just want to be a leader and show my teammates how to be a team player,” Doddridge said. “I’m going to have a hand on the ground and obviously work on being a pass rusher. I’m going to work on getting off the ball faster.”
Football is evolving to to the point that a singular job description defines a player. By playing as many as five different positions, Doddridge is taking the approach that it’s about not what your team can do for you but what you can do for your team.
“I want to help,” Doddridge said. “You have to have the mindset of wanting to have the flexibility to do what it takes to win. I’m really quick and good at rushing the passer. Being a running back was fun. It was mostly blocking. The important thing is to make sure we’re up to the standards.”
Doddridge has Division I football opportunities in front of him. He has offers from Army and Nevada. The Ivy League has made it case with Yale, Brown and Columbia involved. There are FCS offers from Houston Baptist, Abilene Christian and Stephen F. Austin.
If there is a chance he can play at the P5 level, it may come down to what the film shows from the first three games. Doddridge will have a great test as Carroll’s demanding non-district season features road trips to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, then Arlington Martin and home to host Rockwall.
“Personally, I think he’s going to have a huge year,” Wasson said. “He’s an outstanding player and young man. He puts us first. That gives me every indication of what he can give us.”
Carroll has a second transfer from Coppell. Jacob Fex is coming over as a safety and quarterback. His father Steve will be an assistant coach and handle the nose tackles. Running back T.J. McDaniel arrived in the spring semester … Greg Davis is the new cornerbacks coach. Ben Gaeth will coach the wide receivers. Those moves came when Clint Fuller moved to Grapevine to become the Mustangs’ defensive coordinator, while defensive line coach Bobby Klink went to Tulsa Union to become that program’s defensive coordinator.