Iola High is best known for being the hometown of New Orleans Hornets power forward Chris Andersen. Iola, which has an enrollment of 135 students, hasn't produced a D-I football player since 1960, but Rex McDougald will change that in 2007. McDougald, at 6-foot-2 and 290 pounds, is one of the more physically impressive prospects in the 2007 class. He will be recruited as an offensive lineman, but he plays fullback and middle linebacker for the Bulldogs. A lot of people would ask why McDougald would not play on the offensive and defensive line, but head coach Randy McDougald (Rex's uncle) has a simple answer.
"We have to do what is best for us to win games," Coach McDougald said. "He is one of our better athletes and we put him where he can help us win games."
McDougald produced as a freshman with 104 tackles from his linebacker position. He followed that up with a strong sophomore season.
"I had 135 tackles playing middle linebacker and about 600 yards rushing and a few TDs at fullback," McDougald said.
McDougald possesses tremendous upper body strength for his age. He recently bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times at a Blinn Junior College camp. He followed that up with over 35 reps at 185 pounds at the Baylor camp in June. He runs consistently between 5.0 and 5.1 in the 40-yard dash.
McDougald attended camps at Texas, Texas A&M and Baylor this summer and says he learned a lot at each camp.
"The Texas camp was great. They talked about academics and what to expect as a student/athlete. The Texas A&M camp was more about talking about getting to the NFL and Baylor covered some of both," he said.
McDougald already has an idea of what program stands out in his mind.
"Texas is definitely my favorite. I get mail from schools all-around the country all the time," he said.
While McDougald plays fullback and middle linebacker for his high school team, he knows that his future is not at those positions.
"Baylor told me either offensive line or defensive tackle. Texas told me offensive line or defensive tackle as well. Texas A&M says offensive line. I like defensive tackle, but I just want to play," said McDougald.
The talented prospect used this summer to work as hard as he possibly could to get stronger and more agile and says he knows the area that he wants to improve the most.
"All I did was run all summer. I want to get faster. We lifted weights at the field house all summer as well," he said.
Iola head coach Randy McDougald knows he is coaching a very good prospect, but says that Rex is an even better kid.
"Rex is a good kid. His father is the offensive line coach and has done a good job with him. Rex is a hard worker that never complains. He plays the game with toughness and a competitive fire," Coach McDougald said.
To see more photos of McDougald in action, click here.