MOORE — Billy Langford had his worries. When the Westmoore coach was told in the offseason of the plan to move his shutdown cornerback Addison Staggs to safety, he was hesitant.
But after the first three games of the season, Langford’s worries have been erased. Not only has Staggs turned into a standout safety for the Jaguars (3 -1), he has become one of the leaders of a hard-hitting defense.
“That was scary for me. You always like to have the lockdown type corner kid. But coach (Joseph) Ross and them guys wanted to make that move and thought it would be best. It’s definitely worked out for us.”
In three games this season, Staggs has one interception, seven pass deflections and is second on the team in tackles with 24.
Staggs has also turned into a serious threat in the Jaguars return game. He has four punt returns for 90 yards and returned two kicks offs for another 70 yards
“I expected big things from him,” Langford said. “But he’s playing really well. He’s our second lading tackler and has lots of hands on balls. He made some big hits in the secondary to. He’s a guy that has stood out.”
The one stat that is hard to count is intimidating hits. Such as the ones he leveled against Norman North in week three. Several times when the Timberwolves were trying to go down field with deep passes, the 5-foot-10, 170-pounder would place his shoulder in the opposing receivers body and displace the ball.
“I think all the teams know how physical we are on defense now,” Staggs said “We deliver hits every time. We are not scared to hit. We don’t care how big you are, we’re there to hit you.”
Staggs is not the only big hitter in his family. His older sister, Jade, plays golf at the University of Oklahoma and is known for some long distance tee-shots.
However, the younger Staggs is more than just a thumper. He’s become a leader on the field for his younger teammates.
“On the field I always like to get the defense hyped up,” Staggs said. “I am always there to help them out. I like to be bring them up if they are hanging their heads. If they’ve done something bad, I coach them up a little bit. Teach them short term memory and leave that play behind.”
Staggs will be on display at 7 p.m. today when the Jaguars travel to Muskogee (2-2) in a district matchup. The Roughers were roughed up last week during a 61-6 loss to Broken Arrow.
Langford is more worried about what his team needs to do, such as cut down on penalties. Penalties have been a problem the first part of the season, including several pass interference calls on the Jags aggressive secondary.
But Staggs doesn’t see that slowing him down. He knows there are big plays to be made out there that can help his team win games.
“I think I would rather have an interception,” Staggs said. “People will remember the big hit, but with the interception you give the offense the ball and a chance to score and get the win.
“But I like the big hits.”
Michael Kinney Follow me @eyeamtruth firstname.lastname@example.org