As a broad-shouldered Khari Anderson towers over most people with his 6-2, 185 pound frame, he’ll almost make you do a double-take when he suggests that he’s not that big of a man.
Perhaps it’s the junior defensive end-running back’s way of reducing the pressure and slowly growing into his role as the team’s leading rusher, but pretty soon, it won’t hold up under scrutiny.
Five rushing touchdowns and 196 yards against Western Reserve Academy last week have a way of raising a man’s stature, not just physically, but also in the minds of his teammates and opponents.
Anderson’s massive totals highlighted the Hawks’ season-opening 40-14 victory over the Pioneers and have built anticipation for tonight’s 7 p.m. tilt at Lutheran West.
But if there’s a small damper on last week’s game, it’s the two fumbles he had that in part aided the Pioneers’ cause. But he said he’s aiming to correct that for this week.
Anderson talked with the Mayfield-Hillcrest patch after practice Thursday and gave us a brief look into his life.
Who’s your favorite athlete?
I’d have to say RG III (Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III). He’s not very big, but that just shows you how much speed can do for you. He’s kind of a role model. As you can see, I’m not the biggest guy on the field. I use what I have to succeed.
What’s your favorite athletic moment of your career?
Last year, I didn’t play much on offense. I had a pretty good defensive year. I’d have to say the Beachwood scrimmage. Those were really my first varsity runs.
What about the blow to the head during that scrimmage?
I’m happy that happened. It showed me it’s not going to be easy. You know you’ve got to fight through it. That was my moment of reality.
Last week, you scored five touchdowns but had two fumbles, tell us about how the day went?
I don’t want to make excuses. It’s the last thing I want to do, but it is difficult playing both sides of the football, and I bruised my hand pretty bad. But I’ve been recovering. I’m fully functional now. But I really just got to work on keeping the ball high and tight. I’ll get it done.
What is it like replacing AP All-Ohio performer Jeremy Simmons at running back?
It’s difficult. I’m not trying to be the next Jeremy Simmons, but I want to support the team as much as I can and do what I can.
What is your favorite video game?
I’d have to say “Call of Duty: Black Ops.” I’m just a combat kind of dude. I love the competition.
What is your favorite food?
I’d have to say Italian food – pasta with meatballs. Loved that since I was a kid.