Texas star plays 8 different positions in 3-game span

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

For small schools, talented athletes are often asked to play multiple positions on the field. That being said, what Bryan (Texas) James Earl Rudder High star Austin Baron has done during the 2011 season is pretty ridiculous.

Rudder football player Austin Baron
Rudder football player Austin Baron

In the course of just three games, Baron somehow played eight different positions on the field. In the span of those three losses, Baron played quarterback, receiver, safety, cornerback, punter, place kicker, punt returner and kick returner.

According to the Bryan-College Station Eagle, Baron's first act in that run was to return from sitting out following a concussion to make eight tackles on defense, return a punt 51 yards for a touchdown that kept the Rangers in the game and nail a 20-yard field goal in a 22-16 loss to Houston (Texas) King High.

A week later, Baron was playing quarterback and passed for a touchdown while completing 50 percent of his passes, providing two of the only highlights from the team's 40-14 loss to Hutto (Texas) High. Then he stepped up with five tackles and punted eight times in a 27-17 loss to Bastrop (Texas) High.

It might make sense to suggest that Rudder just hasn't found the right position to slot Baron into yet, but he's tried almost all of them.

"I enjoy it," Baron told the Eagle. "I like to do anything I can do to help the team. If they need me somewhere I'll play that position, and I'll do my best at it to see how good I really am at it."

While Baron insists that he's happy to do anything and everything he can to help his team, his coach said that his most important role is being one of the team's most consistent performers along the Rudder defense's back line.

Not that he doesn't appreciate Baron's versatility, of course.

"He's got a lot of talents," Rudder head coach C.M. Pier told the Eagle. "He plays both sides of the football at multiple positions. He also is a big part of our kicking game. He's our punter, kicker and returner. You name it, he's doing it.

"He never fusses and never groans. Even if he doesn't like something, he doesn't say anything, and if he does he comes to you in a very respectful way. I've always liked that about him. I've got nothing but good things to say about Austin Baron."

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