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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tony Picard is a 6-foot-4, 400-pound high school running back

Tony-PicardWhite Swan (Wash.) High School senior Tony Picard is practically an unstoppable force. When you take a 6-foot-4, 400-pound kid and give him some football equipment, that result is expected.

Picard’s primary position is running back. Yes, as in the running back that takes the ball from the quarterback and runs toward the end zone with it.

How do high school kids tackle a 400-pound opponent? Teamwork.

“Most teams will sacrifice five guys to stop him: four linemen and a middle linebacker. That leaves three guys on each side to stop the rest of our team,” White Swan football coach Andrew Bush told the Indian Country Today Network. “Everything else opens up: our outside running, our play action, and our entire passing game. We average about 450 yards as a team offensively.”

Picard gets the ball quite a bit, averaging about five yards per carry and 100 yards per game. As you might expect, he started out as a lineman. Bush said he was amazed by Picard’s speed and agility, which he noticed at a football camp when some kids were playing a pickup game of basketball.

“He was so agile and making shots from way out there,” Bush said. “I said ‘I’ve got to use this somehow.’

“It’s so much fun to have him go out [on the field] as a captain and see him shaking hands before the game. [Opponents are] just kind of staring, like ‘Oh my gosh, you’ve got to be kidding me!'”

When he’s not carrying the rock, Picard plays the role of decoy and takes advantage of the attention defenses give him.

“I kind of make a path for the smaller guys to score and serve as a decoy,” Picard said.

Thanks in large part to Picard’s dominance, White Swan has clinched a spot in the Washington State football championships and is currently in first in their division. A video of “Big Tone” (as his teammates call him) dominating opponents can be seen here.

Picard has spoken with a few college coaches, with most interested in using him as a lineman. Bush admitted that makes sense, but said teams shouldn’t rule out using him in short yardage situations.

“Chances are he’ll be recruited as a lineman, but there’s always the chance that he’ll get his chance to carry the ball on those short touchdown runs,” Bush said. “It’s tough to stop 400 pounds!”

That it is. It would be tough for Division-1 college athletes to stop 400 pounds. I feel just plain sorry for high schoolers who have to do it.

H/T Busted Coverage



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