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McFarland: It’s Down to Texas and OU

Lufkin DT Jamarkus McFarland, one of the biggest targets left on the board, talks about why he decided to focus on only Texas and OU, what he likes about each, the playoffs and much more, including his thoughts on possibly going into politics after his football career is done.
(Interview conducted by OU Insider, ESPN.com’s Oklahoma affiliate)

Q: Tell us about your last second win over Klein (28-22) in the first round of the Texas High School Football Playoffs last Friday? JM: “It started out well, but it got rocky after the half. We pulled it off with a nailbiter there at the end.”Q: Wasn’t one of the keys in the game how you and your teammates stopped the run? JM: “Yeah, they basically ran the ball, especially early and we basically stopped their offense. Our offense gave up three interceptions and they scored off those three turnovers. So it basically came down to the wire. It was down to three minutes and we had to stop them to try to give our offense a chance to score, and we battled hard and made them punt. Then we hit a 47-yard pass with about six seconds left in the game to get the win.”Q: How well did you feel you played in the game? JM: “I was basically showing what I need to show in the game. I might not have made all the plays that I needed to make, but fortunately I disrupted enough plays where they had to go back to my teammates where they could make plays.”Q: From what I heard, you had double and triple teams coming at you all night, and you still managed to make plays and disrupt things inside? JM: “It was a fun experience. I take pride in anybody wanting to put together any kind of blocking scheme against me, because that opens a lot for my team and it shows me respect that they would do that and shade that gameplan to try to block me.”Q: Who do you play in the next round? JM: “We play Cy Ridge at Kyle Field in College Station. It is going to be a battle. I mean, that is Russell Shepard’s team. So we will meet up and go at it. He and I are great buddies. We are real cool so it will be a fun war.”Q: So you get to chase Russell Shepard around, huh? JM: “I get to pitch him to somebody else, because I won’t catch him by chasing him.”Q: Your mom said you have narrowed your choices down to two schools? JM: “Well, basically, it is getting to the point where it is becoming so hectic that I am thinking I have got to make a choice. I even talked to Russell a little bit and he mentioned that some of the other recruits found LSU as a great place, but I told him I had to pick a school that was best for me. I feel that they are stacked at my position to where I won’t get some playing time, so I kind of look at these other two (OU, UT) based on that. But if I can’t get anything out of it, maybe I will go back to my third choice. As of now, I am at OU and Texas.”Q: It sounds like you want to make your decision, but in all of our conversations you have never said when you are going to announce. Are you thinking about announcing your decision soon? JM: “I wish I could wake up one day and just make it, but it is so hard to drop a good school. They are all great colleges and it is so hard to drop them, especially when it comes to these two or these three. It is hard with these two or three schools to say, OK, I pick this one. I am a fan of every one of them, and it is not just football. It is the education and the coaching that all three schools are great places to be and play ball. So it is hard to let go, but I am going to have to.”Q: At this point in your decision process, what are your thoughts on the Sooners? JM: “They are on a roll, they are hot. They are coached well and they are out there busting their tail showing they are working hard getting to where they are at. I am going to have to look for them this Saturday, hopefully they can shut down those Raiders.”Q: What are your thoughts on Texas at this time? JM: “They are playing with fire on their end to. They are coming out and playing ball, and basically showing that the Big 12 overall is a great league just like the SEC. They are turning their defense inside and out and putting great pressure on the quarterback making him feel uncomfortable in the pocket.” Q: You are the Student Council President and because of that you will stay in high school to be with your classmates for the second semester. But you have told me before that this experience for you has you thinking about a career in politics down the road. With that in mind, how did it make you feel to see Barack Obama become the first African-American President of the United States? JM: “I think that is an honor, and that basically shows how far our country has come. My high school coach told me he has a little boy and he has another child six months old, and he can tell them right now that they can be anything that they want to be. He can show them that now and they will never have a doubt in their mind about the truth to that. That result just tells me that I can push forward and that I can be anything that I want to be, and that no obstacle is too big that I can’t climb over. “It is more than just a race thing, and it is not just a great deal because he is black. It is a great thing because he is a great guy. He fought through all his struggles and he showed that he could make it. He was the best candidate out of those two, I believe, and not just because he was an African-American.”Q: Did that election make you think any more about possibly going into politics once your football career is over? JM: “I haven’t really thought about that before this election. I have never been bound on politics like I found myself on this election. I found out a lot of stuff throughout this election that I didn’t even know. I found out stuff about this election that kept me involved in it, and that really caught my eye and caused me to think about going into politics in the future.”

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