HAUGHTON — Despite climbing to the state’s highest enrollment classification, Haughton High School remains a family program.
“Our kids, a lot of these kids are family kids — their dads played here, their brothers played here,” Bucs head football coach Rodney Guin said.
Even in a tightly knit place like Haughton, juniors Jarred and Jerrod Craft stand out. The Crafts, who followed their older brother Jordan through the Haughton pipeline, are fraternal twins — something Guin doesn’t remember coaching at Haughton.
Despite the difference in size — Jerrod, a wide receiver/safety, is shorter and stockier than Jarred, a running back/linebacker — people still have a hard time keeping the Crafts separate.
“Sometimes they get our names mixed up and it’s a bit difficult, but other than that it’s pretty cool to be a twin,” Jerrod Craft said.
Guin isn’t one of those. The Haughton coach said between their builds and their personalities the Crafts are easily distinguishable.
“(Jarred’s) very quiet,” Guin said. “He doesn’t say a whole lot. (Jerrod) is just off the wall the whole time.”
Jerrod Craft combines that energy with a chip on his shoulder to make for what Guin called “one of the hardest-hitting safeties we’ve had back there in a long time.”
That isn’t to say Craft is strictly a headhunter, however.
“His balance,” Jarred Craft said of what part of his twin’s skill-set he would like to have. “If you watch him on film, he’s a tough guy to get down. It takes the whole team to get him down.”
While Jerrod and Jarred Craft are more easily distinguished than most twins, Jerrod Craft bears a similar resemblance to his older brother, something that grows when the younger brother catches a pass across the middle.
“A lot of people say I look like my older brother because of our size,” Jerrod Craft said. “It’s not about size. It’s about talent and the way we play.”
The Craft twins say they play alike with both mentioning giving maximum effort and being powerful players, which is fitting consider the family legacy they carry.
Both their father and their uncle, Doug Craft, played at Haughton with Doug Craft eventually playing at Southern University and in the Arena Football League.
Football is the tie that binds the Craft men — twins or not — and it is something Jerrod Craft expects to continue.
“Football has been in our family and I’m sure it will go on to my kids and my grandkids,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll all have the same talent and I hope they’re better than we are.”
Until that day, Guin and the Bucs are happy to have their current set of Crafts on the roster.
“I’d take a few more sets like this if we could get them,” Guin said.
Connect with Jason Pugh on Twitter at @JasonSPugh.