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Big 'D' (Derek Farniok)

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Derek Farniok is big.

"I'm 6'8", 315," said Farniok.

He's so big that some of the biggest Division I football programs in the country recruited him.

"We started getting calls from Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State," said Washington High School football coach Brian Hermanson.  "And there was probably about 14 Division I schools that offered him scholarships."

But instead of staying in the Upper Midwest, Farniok decided to go play for perennial national title contender Oklahoma.

"My mom hung up my scholarship offer and I walk by it every once in a while and it has kind of a surreal effect," said Farniok.  "Kinda like, I really am going there to play."

Farniok helped lead Washington to it's first state football title last season and he's got them off to an undefeated start this year.  While his running backs love the huge holes he helps open up for them at the line, no one appreciates his pass blocking more than another D-I prospect, quarterback Matt Hermanson.

"It feels nice," said Matt Hermanson.  "I don't have to worry about my backside, because he's always there and pretty much, no one's gonna get by him.  He's 6'8", 300 some pounds."

Like any star athlete, Farniok has done more than just rely on his size.  He has worked hard to make sure he's ready for Big 12 football next season.

"Their O-line coach said I reminded him of Phil Loadholt," said Farniok.  "Just a bigger dude, but he worked harder than anyone.  That's what I want to try and be like."

"He's become an extremely great leader for us," said Brian Hermanson.  "The other guys look up to him, especially our younger kids in our program and they see what hard work can do.  It pays off."

One last high school season remains, while Oklahoma awaits.  Don't be surprised if Derek Farniok comes up big.
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