TJ Searcy took his level of play up a notch in last Friday’s football game against Harris County. He took it from not only playing the defensive end, where he is a highly rated Division I recruit, but also took snaps on offense.
Many other Knights played both sides of the ball in the 29-28 win and Coach Justin Elder stressed his appreciation for the guys who were willing to put in the extra effort for the team. At the top of that list is Searcy, who rarely missed a snap all game and scored three touchdowns. On defense, he picked up a sack and multiple tackles.
The 6’5” junior has played tight end for the Knights in previous years, but being a primary ball carrier is a different load on a two-way player. In a year when Upson-Lee is at the lowest of a rebuild, the coaching staff needs the types of players that can contribute on both sides of the ball.
“It’s not often you get a guy like [Searcy],” said Elder after the game on Friday.
The junior has responded well to the transition that adds much more to his plate.
“I’ve just had to lock in and focus on running more and hydrating more,” Searcy said of the transition. “I still have a long way to go until I’m able to give 100 percent on both sides for an entire game, but I think I played pretty good versus Harris.”
Searcy scored three touchdowns on 11 carries for 59 yards, including an 18-yard run. He was the Knights' primary option on short downs and was virtually unstoppable due to his size and physicality.
The Knights will continue to need Searcy to be a high-level contributor on both sides each game to make a playoff push. There is a lot of weight on his shoulders, but he is a four-star recruit for a reason.
“This is just the start,” said Searcy. “We just have to keep getting better every day and we will be a team to worry about.”