Sometimes all it takes is one look and that’s enough.
When you looked out on the football field at McPherson High, No. 78 seemed to stand out from the rest in terms of being a physical specimen.
That number belonged to Garrett Larson, who was 100 percent football player. He recently became the seventh Bullpup in a row to be selected to participate in the Kansas Shrine Bowl.
Larson will be stepping into the big time next fall, as Wednesday he signed a letter of intent with Pittsburg State University, which has won more games than any team in NCAA Division II history, including the 2011 national championship.
The 6-2 and 265-pound lineman was simply dominating at times and always the focal point of any opponent as he was a standout both offensively and defensively. He earned Class 4A first-team All-State honors for defense and was picked first-team AVCTL Division III both offensively and defensively.
“He’s got the size and maybe most important, the quickness and speed,” MHS coach Tom Young said. “He really runs well for being a big kid. His chances are really good to have success.”
Larson had his choice of schools, but he’ll be going to the gold standard of D-II football.
“They’re a winning team,” Larson said. “They won a national title in 2011, which excites me. On my visit, I met a lot of good guys there. They have a lot of powerful offensive players, so it’s going to be awesome getting to know all of them.”
And the facilities and support, oh my.
“Their fan base is amazing,” Larson said. “It’s a big college town, which I like. They’re building like a id="mce_marker"4 million facility for weightlifting and stuff, so it’s going to be awesome, it’s going to be amazing.”
Larson said the Gorillas have indicated he might play center, but wherever they put him they know they’ll have a quality player in the lineup.
“I’ll probably play center or guard, somewhere on the interior of the offensive line,” he said.
But given how difficult he was to block as a defensive lineman, Larson isn’t ruling out the possibility of being moved over.
“They told me you could flip at any time,” he said. “They said if they’re weak on the defensive line, and that’s where you’re good, they can flop you over there.”
Larson on Tuesday received his official Shrine Bowl notification during ceremonies at the basketball game.
“It was awesome,” he said. “It was a good experience. It was amazing.”
The game is going to be played at Pittsburg State, so Larson will get his first game action on the field over the summer.
Larson picked PSU over Emporia State and Fort Hays State. He will major in political science.