By Joshua Koch
HOUSTON – Playing football as a child in the backyard everyone always imitated their favorite NFL player.
If you were a quarterback; Joe Montana or John Elway. A wide receiver; Jerry Rice or Randy Moss. A running back – Barry Sanders or Walter Payton.
For Katy sophomore running back Deondrick Glass it was the Detroit Lions’ Hall of Fame running back he spent time watching and characterizing his style after.
“Growing up my dad always showed me the best,” Glass said. “My favorite running back personally is Barry Sanders because I like the way he’s shifty and has great vision and instincts and always wanted to imitate myself like him. I was amazed by him the first time I ever saw him.”
When you see the 5-foot-9, 180-pound sophomore trot onto the field for Katy every week it’s hard not to see Sanders’ style in his runs.
The patience, the elusiveness, the power and finally the speed.
Glass, in only his second year of varsity football, has quickly raced out to be one of the top running backs in the Houston area and a highly-rated recruit in the 2019 class.
“He’s been doing this since he was five years old,” Dandrick Glass, Deondrick’s father, said. “We’ve been training him and prepping him to do this.”
After playing the majority of the time in the backup role last season behind now University of Texas running back Kyle Porter, this season was his to take.
Since the first snap of 2016, Deondrick has taken the opportunity and ran with it.
Out of Katy’s eight games this year, Deondrick has rushed for more than 100 yards in seven of them and in three has surpassed the 200 yard mark. Twice he’s passed the 250-yard plateau including his season-high coming on Thursday against Tompkins with 267 yards on 17 carries.
“I am very patient,” Deondrick said. “I wait for the openings and then I try to hit it as fast as I can.”
Overall, Deondrick has carried the ball 131 times for 1,436 yards and 23 touchdowns this season for the Katy Tigers.
“I couldn’t do anything I do without my line and without my quarterback and my receivers and my fullback,” Deondrick said. “They get in and they’re putting their body on the line to make sure I look good but you don’t ever really see them because I’m always getting all the glory.
“But my line, my quarterback and all the people I feel like they should be up here with me.”
Only a sophomore, Deondrick has quickly become one of the top backs in the Houston area under the guidance of Gary Joseph and staff.
Once a member of the varsity team donning the Katy red and white, the classification doesn’t matter anymore, Joseph said and there’s a certain expectation that comes with being on the roster.
“It’s like I told him, I told Rodney Anderson, I told Adam Taylor and others; they get to the varsity level nobody cares that they’re a sophomore,” he said. “They’re varsity football players and that’s where Deondrick’s at. He’s a varsity football player and he’s expected to perform like one.”
Being only a sophomore, there is a lot of football in front of Deondrick.
Since being on the varsity roster last season, Joseph said the maturation process has been clear with Deondrick in his work ethic and learning how to work and getting better every day.
Despite the big numbers, Deondrick admitted he needs to get better at pass blocking and getting his speed up.
When looking at Deondrick, Joseph said he needs to continue to get stronger moving forward but is glad to have him in the program for the next few years and believes the ceiling his high for him.
“He’s got a chance, he’s a dynamic football player,” he said. “I just feel like he can get better. He can be more explosive than what he is. As long as he’s got that upside and he continues to get better, then he’ll be OK.”