Jonathan Hull
Jun 10, 2015

For some, the Oil Bowl is one last chance to enjoy the glory of playing high school football. Others treat it as a tuneup to their college football careers.

For several players in the 2015 version of the Oil Bowl, this week is an opportunity to gauge what their surroundings will be like when they start college in the fall.

There are nine players on this year’s Oil Bowl rosters who officially signed to play at Midwestern State. Three are suiting up for the West Texas All-Stars, including Sulphur Springs offensive tackle Austan Davis, Burkburnett running back Marquis Askew and Vernon linebacker Zack McMahen.

The East Texas All-Stars feature six future Mustangs, including Terrell receiver Damon Moss, West Mesquite linebacker Charlie Franklin, Duncanville defensive linemen Jaylon Abdul-Karim and Quailon Haynes, DeSoto quarterback/defensive back Miles McBride and Van Alstyne tight end/defensive end Dalton Jones.

Two other members of the West — Wichita Falls High School’s B.J. Mayze and Alvord’s Joe Randall — list MSU as the college they’ll be attending in the fall.

“I get to spend the whole week here living in Pierce (Hall) where I’ll be living my first year of college,” said Davis, who moved to Wichita Falls from Sulphur Springs last week in preparation for college. “It’s great to experience a little bit of it. Get to play on the same field I’ll be playing on for the next five years. Practicing on the same field and everything. It’s a good experience.”

Abdul-Karim and Haynes spent the last four years as teammates playing the same position. It worked out so well for them at Duncanville they figured it could be a nice fit for college, too.

“We do everything together. That’s my brother,” Abdul-Karim said of Haynes. “We’re going to come up here, we’re going to redshirt together, we’re going to play together, we’re going to work out together.”

“It’s a little preview of what it will be like to play here,” Haynes added. “Freshman year I started getting to know (Jaylon) playing the same position together and everything. It just built a bond. Come closer to signing day we decided we’d like to play together in college.”

Davis, Abdul-Karim and Haynes each said their interaction with Bill Maskill and his coaching staff had a major influence on their decision to sign with MSU.

“I visited a lot of schools and had a lot of offers, but when I visited here it felt like home,” Davis said. “It was the right distance away from home. I loved the campus and loved coach Maskill. He’s real old school. I like that old-school mentality he has. The coaching staff here reminds me so much of mine (in Sulphur Springs) it’s unreal.”

It was Davis’ head coach at Sulphur Springs, Greg Owens, who ultimately convinced him he should play in the Oil Bowl.

“He played in the Oil Bowl about 25 years ago,” Davis said. “He was the one who came to me and asked me if I wanted to play in it. I was already going to be living here so why not.”

While Davis can call Abdul-Karim and Haynes teammates in the fall, there’s a good chance he’ll be lining up across from one of both of those guys during Saturday’s game. And for at least one day, he’s going to be trying to beat his future teammates.

“I’m a competitor. I like to compete,” Davis said. “I want to have fun, but I want a W. It’s a lot more fun to win.”