Trey Reed, Times Record News
Perhaps it’s a good thing for the rest of college football that Greg Dolan and Randy McAdams don’t see eye-to-eye on Austin.
“I grew up in Midland and I’m used to things being slow,” McAdams said. “I just don’t understand old ladies with walkers in one hand, while they give me the finger through the sun roof with the other. That definitely gives me a case of road rage.”
Dolan, who will be a teammate of his former and future rival this week in the 67th Oil Bowl, lives for the fast life of Sixth Street and looks forward to staying home.
“I like Texas because I grew up here and my parents will be able to go to my games,” he said.
McAdams will head North of the Red River to play for Oklahoma.
The two were charged to protect quarterbacks and pave the rushing games for two District 14-5A foes. McAdams played left tackle at Leander, while Dolan manned the right tackle position at Round Rock Westwood.
They have also established competitive bonds on the football field as well as competing directly in district discus and shot put competitions.
The pair of 6-7 linemen will anchor the right side of the Texas line Saturday night against Oklahoma.
Each are hoping they are taking the first steps toward an NFL career, but at the same time they are remolding the accepted build of today’s lineman.
Both have the athletic frame and ability that attracted many college coaches to their respective high school campuses.
And it took all of one brief moment to redirect each of the budding talents in the right direction.
Dolan, who tips the scales at 285 pounds, had visions of being the next Jim Kelly.
His first head coach, Mo Cotter of Canyon Vista Junior High, quickly erased any inkling not connected to playing on the line.
Dolan clearly remembers his first day of organized football as a seventh-grader.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing professional football since I was three years old,” he said. “And, being from New York, Jim Kelly was my boyhood hero.”
So when coach Cotter instructed the eager group of glary-eyed middle schoolers to break into try-out groups, Dolan naturally sauntered over towards the quarterback station.
“Hey, when I was 10 years old, I could throw a football 50 yards,” Dolan recalled.
Maybe Dolan came along a few years too late. Maybe the accomplishments of big quarterbacks such as Minnesota Vikings’ Daunte Culpepper (6-4, 260 pounds) and former Kentucky standout Jerad Lorenzen (6-3, 288 pounds, signed by the New York Giants) would have tempted the junior high coach to give him a shot as a signal caller.
But not on this day, Cotter quickly ran over and tapped the big kid’s shoulder pads.
“Dolan, get your big ass over there with the linemen,” the coach instructed Dolan.
With that, the big kid lowered his chin and trotted over to begin a mostly thankless career as a lineman.
“We don’t get a lot of the credit when things are going well,” he said. “But we get the blame when things are going bad.”
Perhaps the coach did know what he was doing after all.
“I don’t dislike being a lineman anymore,” Dolan said, perhaps realizing his best chance at realizing his boyhood dream just might be through the trenches.
McAdams (300 pounds) also harbored dreams of translating his physical prowess into backfield grandeur, constantly hounding the Leander coaching staff to give him a shot at fullback. They didn’t relent.
“Goon, shut up and go block,” one coach said.
That’s something that McAdams clearly understood, and blocking helped him develop a mentality that he has grown to relish.
“There’s nothing like getting in a three-point stance and running through people,” McAdams said.
McAdams fondly recollected the highlight of his senior season. He was cut at the ankles, fell off-balance onto his left hand before quickly bounding to his right to cut three oncoming defenders to the ground.
“My dad almost had a heart-attack when he saw the film,” he said. “Coaches asked me how I did it. I had no answer.”
Next fall, the Austin-area product will head north of the Red River to start his collegiate career as a Sooner, but he feels the hometown Longhorns missed out.
“I’ve lived in Texas all of my life,” McAdams said. “I don’t disrespect them, but I feel like they passed on an opportunity to get a good player.
“This is the last good I’m going to do for Texas. Whoever’s across the line in burnt orange, it’ll be on.”
But first, McAdams will team up with Dolan to show the Longhorns what they could have had.
Note: Practices today for both squads will be held at the Midwestern State University practice fields and will begin at 8:45 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.