Hooten "Reddies" himself for HSU
By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor
Feb. 8, 2007 - Colt Hooten was versatile enough to play three positions for the Sulphur Springs Wildcats on the gridiron. His final position looks like it will stick.
Hooten on Wednesday signed a binding letter of intent to play football for Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark.
Henderson State coaches envision Hooten (6-3, 265) playing center, which was where he ended the year for the Wildcats after starting the first seven games at right tackle. As a junior, he was a starter at defensive tackle.
SSHS head coach Greg Owens said Hooten's attitude and work ethic provided him with the opportunity to play college football.
"One thing I found out about Colt when I got here was that he was one of our better linemen athletes. He was a guy who had played defense his whole life, and he was very unselfish this year as he agreed to move to offensive line for us," Owens explained. "In the big scheme of things, I thought it would be a good move for him, and it has because he's going to get his education paid for."
Hooten was an Honorable Mention All-District selection as a senior. He said Henderson State scouts started looking at him seriously about halfway through the year, so they saw him play both offensive line positions.
"They wanted me to be center, pretty much everybody that looked at me wanted me to be center because they said I have the size to do that," Hooten said.
Henderson State, an NCAA Div. II university, runs the spread offense, which is the same offensive formation as the Wildcats. Hooten was one of 38 prospects signed by the Reddies on Wednesday.
They went 8-3 last season under first-year head coach Scott Maxfield. It was the most wins for the program in 20 years.
"I went down there for a visit and they had all new facilities and a new head coach," Hooten said. "He's turned the whole program around, and I want to be a part of that."
Owens said he thinks Hooten will flourish in college.
"He agreed to do whatever we asked him to do, so he's very coachable," Owens said. "He moved from tackle to center, and had never snapped the ball before, but he did a great job.
"He's going to be their center. We're excited about that. Things just worked out, I think, the way they are supposed to, so I'm excited for him."
Wednesday was the National Signing Day, the first date in which high school seniors can sign letters of intent. Hooten was joined in the signing ceremony by his mother, Tina McCord, grandparents, Judy and Lynn Mills, and offensive line coach, David Carrillo.