COLUMBIA — Senior defensive tackle Ziggy Hood found himself on the Outland Trophy Watch List entering 2008. Four years ago, though, as a standout defensive line prospect in Amarillo, Tex., it took more than a sack to get a rise out of the high schooler.
“I remember we used to put him on offense at tight end sometimes, and had two 97-yard touchdowns in a row in one game,” Steve Parr, Hood’s coach at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo said. “He’d pull from the back side and he’d block two people each time.”
Parr also said the team would line Hood up in the backfield a la Refrigerator Perry and the then-220-pounder would bowl his way through opposing defenses and rack up a few touchdowns on his own.
High school teammate Josh Young, now a junior defensive back at West Texas A&M in Canyon, Tex., counts Hood among his best friends, and any time he comes home, the two have a standing appointment.
“Every time he’s back, we plan a big fishing trip,” Young said. “We’ve caught some pretty big catfish down here.”
Hood now weighs in at almost 300 pounds, and as a starter on a national championship contender, the folks in Amarillo haven’t forgotten about the big kid who took an opportunity to head north and keep chasing a dream. Then again, how could they?
“He comes back and he’ll share with our kids what he’s learned,” Parr said. “It’s so neat because of his unselfishness. We have some coaches here who have gone on to other places, and he’ll go there, too. He’s got time for everyone in his past.”
For Parr, having coached a player like Hood comes in handy even if he isn’t there.
“They always seem to use him as an example of someone who’s succeeded,” Young said. “It’s always good to have someone everyone knows to use as an example to younger kids and show them what he had to do to get there.”
It’s not just the kids who take note. Young says even his grandma will send him articles she finds on the Internet.
“A defensive tackle will never get as much attention as a good quarterback or a receiver will,” Young said. “But it’s just so cool, the attention he’s gotten already.”
at No. 5 Missouri (3-0)
WHEN: 1 p.m.
WHERE: Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium
RADIO: KFRU/1400 AM, KBXR/102.3 FM
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