April 5, 2020

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Diamond in the Rough: Khari Fields

Khari Fields is a 6’0”, 167 pound Junior in Helen Cox High School in Harvey, Louisiana who truly lives up to his nickname “The Jet” when you see him fire off the line of scrimmage. His ability to use his speed, feet, and hands to gain separation from a defensive back is a key part of why he is an elite receiver. Fields has a great ability to highpoint a ball and gives opposing defensive coordinators an offensive player to key on due to his great route running abilities. Fields manages to cut and accelerate out of the cuts fast enough to give him yards of open field all around him. His run after the catch is what makes him so explosive. His ability to make defenders miss in the open field and kick it in to high gear makes him a matchup nightmare for any defensive back. Once in open field, it is nearly impossible to catch Fields. His 4.5, 40 showcases his elite speed, but his film shows he is more than just a fast runner. He has the ability to make difficult catches look routine and is a reliable option to not drop open passes. Sticking him in at wildcat opens up a whole new can of problems for opposing players to worry about, as his quickness makes him hard to bring down.  His combination of speed, route running, and catching, make him a valuable asset to any college program. 

What made you decide you wanted to start playing football and when did you start playing?

I started playing in Mobile, Alabama when I was 7 years old. I started out living with my mom in New Orleans, then one day I moved with my dad to Alabama and he asked if I wanted to play football and I started playing then. My dad is for sure a big reason I started playing.

Who would you say, either in college or the NFL, that you like to model your game after?

Jerry Jeudy. The way we play is very similar. He is extremely fast and hard to catch and I like to play that way. I play fast and hard.  I feel like we share some a similar skillset. 

Do you play any other sports in high school?

I run track. I run the 200, the 400, and do long jump. The training for that really helps develop speed and the ability to keep going even when you are tired. 

How do you prepare for game day?

I get focused by myself honestly. I throw my beats on and listen to Lil Boosie. It helps me get into the right mindset of the game and be ready to do my job each night. 

A lot of people at the Wide Receiver position, what do you think sets you apart from the other receivers?

I am really an athlete. You can stick me pretty much anywhere but the line and I will be able to make plays. I understand every position and what their responsibilities are. Anywhere that I am needed, I can make a play. 

How do you think coaches and teammates would describe you as a player?

Definitely a leader. Both on and off the field. My freshman year the guys above me really took me in and helped guide me. Now I am trying to do the same thing and help some of the younger people and take them under my wing. 

Did you always play wide receiver or did you start somewhere else?

Actually, in Alabama I played tight end. Then when I moved back to New Orleans, my dad coached us and put me at quarterback. That is one of the reasons I still understand a lot about that position. Ultimately, I got moved to receiver but I can make plays everywhere. 

Being a student athlete in high school the importance of academics is drilled into your head. How do you find a balance between the two?

Actually, before we have practice or workouts we have a study hall that the coaches hold. So we get all of our work in before practice and all that. 

What goals, either personal or for the team, do you have for this coming up season?

For the team, I really just want to go further than we did last year. We had a tough season. We lost our head coach two weeks before the season started, and the second game of the season our quarter back broke his leg. So, it was a tough season. 

Losing your head coach and starting QB at the beginning of the season has to be hard. How did this effect the team morale and how did you step up to overcome it?

It had a major impact on our team. Morale was way down for a bit. I stepped up and went to quarterback and receiver. Sometimes coach needs me to make a play with my legs from the backfield and I step up and execute when I am needed.