Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Coach talk: CB Daquan Worley
By Josh Moyer
What kind of player is Penn State getting in Daquan Worley? And what can fans expect?
NittanyNation turned to one of the people who knows most what Worley is capable of on the field -- Matt Ortega, his high school coach at Coatesville (Pa.) High School -- and asked what separates the tailback/cornerback as a player, how he first noticed Worley's ability and when the player especially showcased his potential.
CB Daquan Worley, Coatesville (Pa.) High School 5-foot-10, 171 pounds
Ortega, on what separates Worley from other players: "Obviously he's fast, and he can run. But, with that, he's also very tough. He's very physical. For being a 175-pound kid, he really wore on people as the game went on. He played his best football in the fourth quarter and normally you can only say that with your bigger backs. He plays bigger than he really is, and I think that all goes back to his work ethic.
"He's just a special kid because he's such a team player. A lot of times you have kids who are prima donnas, but he's the opposite of that. He works hard, sets an example, and it really showed with how he played later in the year. He had, like, 1,000 yards in six playoff games."
When he first knew Worley would be special: "I felt we knew when he was in ninth grade he was going to be special. You can say that for a lot of kids, but you knew he was going to be really special because you go, 'Man, that kid works hard. That kid really tries to make himself better and does well in school.' From a young age, we knew he was going to be a very good football player just because he works so dag-gone hard. That's what's allowed him to mature and be the best he can be. The sky's the limit for him because of how hard he works.
"Let me give you an example. Last year, we had our weight workouts and we would lift. The line coach would take up the linemen to a second workout, and I went there one day. And, right in the middle of all the linemen, there was Daquan. And, again, the workout was specifically for the linemen. But Daquan, being the running back, he wasn't going to leave his line hanging. I knew at that point right there they just had so much respect for him; they would've run through a wall for him. ... So, yeah, there's a lot of talented kids all over the place. But it's the ones who understand they're talented and work hard to master their craft, those are the ones who are special. And that's Daquan Worley."
When Worley surprised him or really showcased his ability: "I think there's two. One, we're playing Neshaminy in the playoffs the day after Thanksgiving and it's a key drive in the game, and we literally just handed the ball seven straight times to Daquan. And we took the lead with that, so that just stood out to me. It's the third quarter, we hand off to him seven times and he scores.
"The other time is when we were playing La Salle and just pounded the ball with Daquan. He took it down the field, scored and won the game. Those are the two that really stood out to me his junior year because we'd just turn around, give him the ball and he'd lead us to critical scores."