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The Great #48

Oct 18, 2017 01:30PM ● Published by Ashley Pape

By Audrey Sellers

On Friday night in Dragon Nation, when green and black pom- poms whoosh through the air and football fans chant “Defense! Defense!” from the bleachers, there’s a good chance Southlake Carroll senior, #48 Jacob Doddridge, will answer their call.

The 6’3” 225-pound athlete has proven to be an impact player in Carroll’s powerhouse program. The rare three-year starter was an All-District performer on both sides of the ball. Doddridge wreaked havoc in the backfield either rushing the passer as a defensive lineman or laying crushing blocks as the Dragon’s versatile H-back. No matter which side of the ball he lines up on, Doddridge ranks as one of the top players in Texas.

The multi-position player packs the skill, technique and raw talent that make him a standout on the field and a recruit that colleges are eager to snap up.

Before the first snap of his senior season, Doddridge had no less than nine Division I football opportunities, including offers from Army and Nevada, along with FCS offers from Stephen F. Austin, Abilene Christian and Houston Baptist.

Doddridge is also hearing from Ivy League schools including Columbia, Brown and Yale—no doubt due to his football ability and his near-perfect 1450 SAT score. The average SAT score this year is 1083, according to Prep-Scholar, putting Doddridge well into the 90th percentile.

There are more than 1.1 million high school football players and more than 80,000 college football players in the country, according to Athnet, with only 14,000 of those playing at the DI level. The competition for football scholarships is intense, but Doddridge already stands apart.

With so many opportunities ahead of him, he’s undoubtedly pumped. “It’s really cool, and I’m just so excited,” Doddridge says.

A TEAM MENTALITY

Last year, Doddridge was a key cog in helping Carroll to the 2016 District 5-6A championship and a 10-2 record. The Dragons came up short, falling to eventual Division II state champion DeSoto in the area round, but Doddridge left his mark. He closed out the season with 54 tackles, 11 for loss, three sacks and one interception.

The team captain is ready to play where he’s needed and to do whatever it takes this season—not for himself, but for his team. Helping his teammates push harder, train smarter and compete at their personal best is what drives him.

“To be a good leader, I can’t be afraid to call someone out,” says Doddridge. “The more you care for someone, the more you’ll call them out because you want what’s best for them.”

Doddridge counts many of his teammates among his personal friends, which is perhaps why he encourages them to work so hard. For him, success is when he can feel proud about a game. He holds his teammates to the same high standard. “I call it a success when everyone is proud of how they played,” says Doddridge.

In striving for excellence for himself and his team, there’s no doubt Doddridge’s heart is in the right place. On his Twitter bio, @JacobDoddridge, he writes, “1 John 3:23 Love one another.”

Doddridge’s coaches can attest to his leadership capabilities and his commitment to his fellow Dragons. “Jacob is definitely an ambassador for our Dragon Football TEAM,” says Southlake Carroll head football coach, Hal Wasson. “He’s an outstanding young man, student and leader. He plays at a high level, and our players and staff have tremen- dous respect for what he does for our TEAM.”

The 17-year-old student-athlete puts in the work, attending football meetings at 7:30 a.m. followed by classes (he loves U.S. History with Ms. Colvin) and evening practice. Doddridge tries to get a jump on his homework during the school day so he can get to bed at a reasonable hour, which for him is usually by 11:30 p.m. “It’s all about managing my time,” he says. “When I’m really tired, I won’t do well in school. I try to get at least seven hours of sleep.”

Despite a packed schedule, Doddridge finds ways to help at home. “Both of my parents work, so sometimes I’ll make dinner for them,” he says. “Pasta is easy to make, so I eat a lot of pasta!” Sometimes, though, he just wants a burger from Kincaid’s or tacos from Fuzzy’s—two of his favorite local places.

Whether he’s at home, on the field or in the classroom, Doddridge wants to put a smile on his parents’ faces. “I thank God for my God- given talents, but I’m also grateful for my parents,” he says. “They have always been there for me and supported me. I want to make them proud.” 

A DUAL-SPORT DYNAMO

Doddridge’s athleticism extends beyond the gridiron. As a young child, the blond-haired, blue- eyed athlete swam with the Timarron Tiger Sharks and later went on to play baseball. Doddridge didn’t play football until fifth grade, but it didn’t take long for him to realize he could use his massive presence to dominate on the field. “I was always bigger than everyone else, so that was an advantage,” says Doddridge. “When I got my first offer junior year, I realized some things could happen.”

Southlake Carroll head wrestling coach, Joe Hathaway, also saw potential in Doddridge and encouraged him to pursue wrestling. “I wasn’t going to try wrestling at first, but Coach Hathaway said I should try it,” says Doddridge, who has been wrestling since he was in ninth grade. He quickly made a name for himself in the sport, becoming an All-State wrestler who earned an impressive fourth-place finish in the Class 6A 2017 UIL Boys State Championship. Dragon Wrestling finished as the 6A runner-up.

“Jacob is a rare breed, whether you ask his coaches, parents, teammates or practically anyone that knows him. Putting his obvious athletic abili- ties aside, he is the kind of person you want to have involved with your team, organization and life,” says Coach Hathaway. “He is an intelligent, genuine and trustworthy young man that makes his greatest leadership impacts through his consistent positive example. We are all looking forward to him winning a state title on the field and the mat this year!”

Doddridge is grateful for lessons from both his football and wrestling coaches. “Coach Wasson and Coach Hathaway expect a lot out of us. I’ve grown up a lot,” he says. “They coach us hard and have high expectations. I’ve really learned how to handle adversity.”

MORE THAN A STUDENT-ATHLETE

If you want a glimpse at a well-rounded scholar-athlete, just take a look at Doddridge. Not only does he excel in two sports, he’s also a Carroll Green Jacket, a piano player, a member of the National Honor Society and Young Men’s Service League of Southlake (YMSL), a nonprofit for moms and sons to volunteer together.

To be a Green Jacket, Doddridge was selected from more than 200 eligible entries based on teacher nominations and essays. He’s part of a noble group of eight young men and eight young women who will serve the community in various ways this year—from volunteering at service events to ushering at graduation.

His involvement with YMSL has been particularly meaningful. “I’ve gotten really close to my mom through all of our various service projects,” he says, “so that has been really nice.”

Doddridge’s faith is also an integral part of his life. For the past eight summers, he has attended Kanakuk Kamps, a Christian summer-camp program dedicated to developing the next generation of leaders. Each stay, he unplugs from computers and cell phones for weeks at a time, but it’s worth it. “It’s refreshing being around guys who are Christians,” Doddridge says. “They’re good influences.”

Doddridge, too, is a positive influence on and off the field. His leadership inspires his teammates to play at their best, and his talent and work ethic have drawn the attention of some of the country’s top colleges. When Dragon fans are cheering on the green and white this year, there’s no doubt they’re expecting great things from #48. 

Dragon Pride Fall 2017

Dragon Pride, In Print, City+School
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