Kai Wolfe lives not far from where I grew up. So, you'll have to
forgive a little geographic homerism on my part. Alma High School, the
home of the Cardinals, is not a big school. They field an eight-man
football team, which gives you some idea. But it's a team which came off
only two losses last year, the last one coming in the state playoffs.
And you could say Wolfe is one of the "big" reasons for that.
OK, enough playing on words.
at his size, especially in eight-man football, Wolfe admits that he
doesn't see many his size. He's seen one, to be exact. He was big. But
that's about it. "Yeah, he was probably 6-4 and 300 or so, but he really
couldn't move all that well," Wolfe said.
refresher for those who don't know, in eight-man football you can have
three or four down linemen on offense, and on defense you can go with
three or the more typical four. Wolfe found himself playing center and
guard on offense, and on defense you can imagine he spent most of his
time on the nose.
You can say the same for the offenses facing him.
get triple teamed a lot. They would collapse down on me, and seemed
like the entire line was trying to block just me," he said.
In some cases, they actually were.
on offense, Wolfe said he remembers when teams would run a four-man
front against his team or even better, when they ran a three-man front.
Considering the fact that Wolfe takes up the space of two guys by
himself, you can figure he liked it when there were only three guys
across from the ball. "I think whenever we ran a three-man front, our
running back had at least 175 yards. He was getting a bunch of yards
beyond the line of scrimmage before he would even get touched," he said.
all the attention he got on defense, it's probably surprising that he
still managed to get 43 tackles. You can imagine that most teams figured
out where he was, and then ran the other way. But on offense it's kind
of hard to do that when you know that wherever the ball is, it's
probably right behind him.
So yeah, Wolfe stands out.
don't think that he's just a big guy playing small school football.
He's got questionnaires and the interest to show that he isn't just
another name on the wall. "I got stuff from Alabama, North Dakota,
Colorado State, Miami and, of course, Nebraska," he said.
coach also got a visit from Nebraska's big man for the big men,
fourth-year offensive line coach, Barney Cotton. "That was pretty cool. I
know he stopped in to talk to my coach. He dropped off some stuff for
their camps in June as well as some stuff about junior days," Wolfe
said. "I don't know exactly when I'll make it up there, but I know I
will definitely get up there to take a look around."
is funny about talking to Kai, is that you can tell he's a fan of
sports. He basically plays all the sports, and without anytime to
condition himself physically, he went right from football straight into
the basketball season. And he's big track guy, too. Maybe it's that
versatility that hasn't made him only football crazy, but ask him about
football and, of course, the Huskers - he gives a pretty practical
response. "Oh, I like them. I mean, I really like what direction the
program is going under Coach Pelini," he said. "But I kind of grew up a
fan of Kansas too, because both of my parents really like the Jayhawks."
now recruiting is something Kai is thinking about, but not really. It's
one of those things he recognizes as possible, but isn't worrying about
it until there's something solid. Besides, outside of all the sports he
plays, Wolfe sports a 3.96 GPA with aspirations of becoming an
How about that for well rounded?
football and his future are there, but as an option and one he'd enjoy
taking to the next level if that happens to come around. As for the
Huskers and looking at the potential and the scenario of an actual
written offer, something most kids in Nebraska will never know, yet
another even tempered response for Wolfe: "If they offered me, I'd
definitely consider it. That's a great program with a great tradition,"
Wolfe isn't typical for a lot of things, not
just where he is and the size of team he's on. But he'll be one name to
watch down the road, because I don't care if you are playing eight man
or 11-man, 6-4, 300 plus is big, playing all the other sports is huge
and having his GPA means that this kid is going to be solid, both on and
off the field.