Blame it on Chris Collingsworth.
The instant reaction to Odell Beckham Jr.’s memorable one-handed touchdown reception against the Dallas Cowboys from the NBC color commentator called Beckham’s grab the best he had ever seen. That’s a relatively fair reaction to have, though it in turn created the cult of the one-handed catch, with every wide receiver from the high school parking lot to the Pro Bowl convinced they could replicate Beckham’s success. Some come close. Some don’t.
Let’s just all agree that Parker Swords comes close.
A junior wide receiver and tight end for Sparkman High in Alabama, the terrifically named Swords elevated for a catch during his team’s 29-22 victory. Actually, to say he elevated for a catch is an understatement; he went to full extension just to get fingertips on the ball. That was enough to pull in the grab, which was one of a handful of impressive plays Swords made on the night.
You can see the catch at the 0:45 mark of the video above.
Let’s be honest: Based on the rate of speed Swords was hurtling forward with, and the fact that he had to catch the ball with limited body surface area while moving forward, Swords’ grab has to be at least as difficult at Beckham Jr.’s. Not that Swords was focused on such trivial matters. He’s much more energized about getting Sparkman a win than anything else.