By Michael Kinney
The Moore American
MOORE — For the 18th consecutive year, Westmoore High hosted its annual Lineman’s Camp last week. It’s one of the few events in the state that focus strictly on the men in trenches.
After three days of going through drills, it ended Wednesday with the most anticipated part of the camp, the Thunder Dome. It has the simple premise of two men enter, one man leaves.
“Just the physicality,” Westmoore coach Billy Langford said. “You are in the middle of summer and your not really used to competition. You get to go out and compete. Any time players get to compete, I think that’s good.”
One of the most anticipated matchups involved the Jaguars Ty Watkins. The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder took on the top lineman from Oklahoma City Douglass and came up short as he was finally overcome inside the circle.
However, it wasn’t cause of bad technique or lack of will that held Watkins back. It was just plain old size and strength. That is something he’s working as he heads into his senior season and is hoping to attract more colleges to his door step.
“The definitely need to see hard work, dedication to my team and weight room,” Watkins said. “Get stronger and thicker. Weight room is the key for an offensive lineman.”
Watkins said he’s been shown interest from schools such as New Mexico and Oklahoma Baptist University. But there have been no offers from any school yet.
Watkins has already started getting his body closer to what college football programs are looking for. But his coach knows it will only get harder during the blistering summer months on Oklahoma.
“He is probably 250 right now,” Langford said. “It would be a big deal for him to get to 265 or 270. It’s hard to put on weight throughout the summer because you are hot and sweaty. I think he can put on 10-15 pounds really easily and be a solid 265. And be still be athletic and able to run. He ran an acutrack 5 flat. At the combine the other day.”
Watkins isn’t just looking to get bigger for a future at the college level. He wants to get better for the Jaguars. He is one of only two returning starters from an offensive line that took Westmoore to the postseason and led the way for one of the most dominant ground games in class 6A.
“He’s solid everywhere,” Langford said. “He has some areas he needs to work on, but they are pretty solid. He doesn’t have any really glaring areas. He just needs to keep working and develop his overall game.”
Going to the lineman’s camp is one way for him to improve.
“It was good,” Watkins said. “Came out here and learned some different techniques, the way people see stuff. It was nice. Something new. You get to see other teams out here. It’s not all 6A teams. You have private schools and stuff. So you get to see different bodies.”
Langford has seen Watkins improve throughout his career with the Jags. He sees him getting even better for his final campaign.
“He just needs to go play his game,” Langford said. “I truly think this year he’s going to have a great year and open some eyes. It would be nice if he grows a little bit and puts on some weight. He’s going to be in the weight room to do those things. He’s committed to being the best football player he can be and help us be the best team we can be.
“We are expecting great things for him.”
Michael Kinney Follow me @eyeamtruth firstname.lastname@example.org