Towering over the Tuttle Tiger huddle is Hunter Anthony.
A six-foot-seven inch, 300 pound plus gentle giant who’s pushing towards his future on a college campus, but not without forgetting his hometown team.
“He’s a very, very kind person,” Brad Ballard, Tuttle High School head football coach, said. “He’s a giant, but one of the most kind people I’ve ever been around. All of our coaches’ kids come up here, and they just flock to Hunter. Can’t say enough about him. He shows up every day and works hard. He’s pleasant. I think he’d tell you right now his number one priority is to be the best Tuttle Tiger he can, and we sure appreciate that.”
Hunter’s well aware of honoring his hometown.
Driving himself and his team to be their best.
“It’s a lot of expectations, and like Ballard says, he wants the best for us, and if we don’t have a winning season it’s a failure, so you have to strive for the best,” Anthony said.
With a population of around 6,000 people the town of Tuttle has a treasured tradition of football players.
Of course there's Heisman winner Jason White, and a collection of Cowboys.
Including the Bassett brothers, Blake Jarwin, Anthony and even Anthony’s future cowboy coach Josh Henson was once a Tiger.
“It’s a great relationship,” Anthony said. “Especially when he’s here, and his family’s here. I really connect with him, and it made it easy. I really liked OSU before he was there, and then when he came there it really sealed the deal. I knew I wanted to be a Cowboy.”
“We’re very fortunate here to have those types of guys around,” Ballard said. “It’s a very unique situation. With guys like that connected to both of these big time programs that we sit right here in the middle of, so we feel very fortunate to be close. It’s a lot of exposure for our kids.”
Whether it be on or off the field Hunter’s head coach likes the direction he’s headed.
“It’s endless what I think his opportunities can be,” Ballard said. “Regardless of football I think the one thing that stands out with him is if you were to take football away from him some day, he’s a good person, and he’s going to succeed whether it’s football or life, and I think that’s the most important thing.”