Just because Cody Harrel isn’t the big college recruit that instantly attracts the eye, that doesn’t mean the Booneville quarterback can’t turn heads.
He does it with his legs instead of his arm.
The Bearcats’ senior has guided Booneville to the 4A title game after rushing for more than 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns. Harrel directs an offense that has rushed for more than 4,700 yards this season.
Booneville (14-0) faces Warren (10-3) in the 4A state championship game Friday at 7 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium.
“He was one of those kids, even in the seventh grade, he was just a natural running the option and he’s progressed and he does a great job with the midline and inside veer,” Booneville coach Scott Hyatt said. “When we do our speed option stuff, he reads that pretty well. He makes a read, hits the whole quick and does a great job.”
The Booneville offensive line starts the process of dominating the football game but Harrel said a lot has to do with the rest of the backfield.
“Our line is blocking real well,” Harrel said. “We’re getting our fullback going. When the fullback gets going, they have to come down on him which gets me going and then it’s real hard to defend the option.”
If slowing down Harrel on the offensive side isn’t hard enough, teams have to find out where the senior is defensively as well. Harrel has 39 tackles from his free safety spot but it’s the big hits that he delivers that gives Hyatt raised blood pressure.
“It doesn’t help my stress level much as I stand over there on the sideline watching my quarterback come up and stroke people from the free safety position but he’s a big hitter and he’s made a lot of big hits, made a lot of big plays defensively, interceptions so he is a big part of our defense as well as our offense,” Hyatt said.