May 19, 2016 09:27AM ● Published by Dia
Zach Farrar will go down as one of the best athletes to ever come through Southlake Carroll. But his sports career didn’t exactly get off to a promising start.
At just four years old, Farrar entered a tee-ball league that was for kids a little older than him. In his first game, Farrar was determined to prove he could compete and smacked the ball into the outfield.
There was just one problem—Farrar ran the wrong way.
“He took off to third base, and I was like ‘oh my God, we don’t have a chance here,’” says Farrar’s father, Steve. “We started yelling at him to run back to first base, so he did. And he made it there and was safe. I was like ‘okay, this kid is fast.’ It’s a true story.”
Farrar went on to earn a number of accolades throughout his youth league career and eventually became one of the key pieces to Southlake Carroll’s baseball team. As a junior, Farrar was named a Rawlings Honorable Mention All-American as an outfielder.
But baseball wasn’t the only sport in which Farrar excelled. He also dominated the gridiron as quarterback up until his junior year when he made a transition to wide receiver. This past season, Farrar led the team with 56 receptions for 1,114 yards and 19 touchdowns and helped the Dragons earn yet another postseason berth.
Farrar now has the opportunity to play both sports at the next level. And that’s exactly what he intends to do. Farrar signed his National Letter of Intent with Oklahoma in February.
“I feel like we really filled a need at wide receiver by getting Zach Farrar,” says Oklahoma Head Football Coach Bob Stoops. “He’s a big, strong receiver that will really have a presence on the outside. We really pushed for him. He’s a great athlete.”
Balancing two sports and a full load of coursework won’t be easy, but Steve believes his son is ready.
“College is hard,” Steve says. “Being a Division I athlete is harder. Playing two Division I sports is even harder. The biggest thing I tell Zach is he has to plan. He has to be on top of things and maximize his time. I think he’s going to push himself to accomplish his goals.”
Farrar sat down with Dragon Pride to talk about some of those goals, his athletic career at Southlake Carroll and what he hopes to accomplish during his last baseball season with the Dragons.
DP: Overall, how have you been able to balance playing football and baseball and keeping up your grades throughout your career at Southlake Carroll?
ZF: It’s been a journey. I had some ups and downs, but overall it’s been a fun experience getting to play both football and baseball. The experience has been an eye-opener. Both sports have helped me get ready for the real world by having to deal with different teammates and situations. It really taught me a lot. I had a lot of fun meeting people and competing. Just looking back at everything, it’s been a ride.
DP: You recently wrapped up your final year of high school football. What were some of your biggest highlights?
ZF: The Cedar Hill game was a big one. I had a big catch late that helped put us over the top. The last game against Denton Guyer was memorable. It was our last game together, and we went out with a bang. The Coppell game was crazy. We weren’t getting much done offensively, and I stepped up with three touchdowns, and we won in double overtime. Those three games define my senior year.
DP: On the football side of things, you made your mark as a wide receiver. But I know you originally played quarterback. What was that transition like?
ZF: They breed quarterbacks at Southlake Carroll, and we already had a good one in Ryan Agnew. My junior year I flipped over for the better of the team, and it was a good move. It was tough at first. I wasn’t that open to doing it. But once I got into it, and I realized that I ran good routes and knew the ins and outs of the position because of my time at quarterback, I embraced it. It worked out for me and the team in the long run.
DP: Does baseball help out with football or vice versa?
ZF: It’s all about being versatile. Coaches and recruiters love versatile athletes. Playing both really helped with my focus. For me, it’s all about seeing the ball with your eyes. And you need good hand-eye coordination for both sports. It’s a big part.
DP: Two players that really excelled at both sports at a high level were Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson. Have you done much research on them?
ZF: Trust me, I’ve done a lot of research on them, especially Bo. He was a big guy that could hit well and throw well. He just had the all-around tools. He’s my role model. He paved the way for multi-sport athletes. He had the fundamentals down, and he had raw talent.
DP: You signed with Oklahoma to play both sports after initially being committed to Mississippi State. What pushed the Sooners over the edge?
ZF: Well, first of all, it’s a dream come true to play both sports at the next level. It’s a blessing. Oklahoma is obviously a powerhouse team in football, and I feel like I can make an early impact there. On the baseball side of things, they are really developing the program. I know I can come in and jump in early. I’m ready to work hard so I can go in there and play early. There was nothing I didn’t like about Mississippi State, but Oklahoma had two things—it was closer to home and the opportunity in both sports was a little better.
DP: The recruiting process is so crazy for athletes to deal with these days. How did you handle it?
ZF: The recruiting process actually didn’t play out the way I thought it would. While a bunch of guys were getting offers around me, I really wasn’t. But I remained patient, and a lot of schools came in late. I felt like coaches were missing out on me, but it really ended up on the positive side for me with Oklahoma.
DP: What do you want to major in at Oklahoma and what career would you like to pursue?
ZF: I’m going into pre-law. I want to go into law after my career or if baseball and football just doesn’t work out. I spoke with the dean of law at Oklahoma when I went on my official visit. He said he would be my mentor, which was great. I love law. I love watching judge shows and reading, which is a big part of it.
DP: If you had to pick one sport, which one would you choose?
ZF: Football because I know my dad said baseball (laughs). But honestly, it would be a hard decision. It would come down to the wire. I have love for both sports.
DP: You are still in the middle of your senior baseball season. What are some of your goals for the rest of the year?
ZF: Hit a lot of homeruns! I’m serious. That’s my big goal. I want to hit homeruns. I want to go over the fence. I’ve established that I can get base hits. I’m trying to hit some homeruns this year.