A 5-foot-4 high school football player is like a moving target for an offensive coordinator, someone toward whom he can feel confident directing a play with a high rate of success. Football is traditionally a big man’s game, right? Exploiting the height-challenged cornerback is a piece of cake.
Jesse Llamas is the player who makes that logic backfire.
A senior cornerback and running back at Saint Mary’s Hall High School in San Antonio, Llamas collected three interceptions in Saint Mary’s Hall’s 32-29 victory over San Antonio Christian Friday night.
That gave him five INTs for the season, putting him in a tie with three others for the area lead.
What Llamas lacks in stature, he makes up for in results.
Llamas knows that opponents sometimes dismiss him because he is shorter than most cornerbacks, and he uses that to his advantage.
“I try not to let it get to me, and I try to feed off it,” Llamas told the San Antonio Express-News. “I play and do what I can despite my height. It motivates me a lot. It goes through my mind almost every day. People take one look at me and don’t expect me to do what I can do.”
According to the Express-News story, Llamas’ first two interceptions came when he jumped a route on an out pattern by the tight end. It was a play they had practiced it all week. He came up with his third turnover in the end zone to prevent a possible touchdown. On the third interception, he simply made a play on the ball.
Oh, did we mention that, as a running back, he raced for the winning score from 45 yards out Friday night? Well, he did.
“People think size means everything and size means a lot, and to a certain degree, it does,” said Llamas, who is a two-year starter at cornerback for the Barons. “But not having the height doesn’t really affect the way I play.”
Small in stature, big in production.
You can read the entire San Antonio Express-News story here.