Height - and heart

So, at last night's high school football game, I encountered the multiple-star recruit, he of the three catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns and the mutual love affair with Florida State. His height wasn't listed on the roster, but he was a good 6-4, with sure hands and forget-about-it speed.

He was No. 3. His team scored 50 points. 

No. 3 for the other team, which scored zero, had three yards for 46 catches. He was also probably around 6-4, but without the equally big-bodied, strong-armed quarterback, or the capable offensive line, or the complementary running threat to put up three TDs. 

He still went across the middle, leaping for a too-high pass and earning a helmet to the ribs for his trouble. He left the game, got taped up, and returned to a field that held little hope for him or his teammates. The size of his heart wasn't listed on the roster, but it was pretty obvious.

After the game, the first No. 3 heard his demanding coaches talk about all the plays his team had left on the field - even though said coaches left the starters in until the fourth quarter. Then he answered questions about his night, including his 51-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the game (after the other team incurred back-to-back procedure penalties before finally managing a short kickoff) and about the other stuff surrounding high school sports that makes my teeth ache: Where have you visited? Who's your front-runner? When will you commit? 

The kid seemed quite nice, and at least he was an upperclassmen, not an eighth-grader. In this talent-rich South Florida soil, he is an example of the best high school football has to offer. But as I listened to him, I looked around, in vain, for the other No. 3, who didn't linger long once the running clock finally ran out. Because so is he.