It’s no secret that high school football is a continuously evolving product. Especially on offense. From the wishbone to the run-and-shoot to RPO (run-pass option), offenses often change to adapt to new defensive schemes and fresh ideas
Nowhere is that more telling than perusing Oklahoma’s high school football career passing records. According to IWasAtTheGame.com, 16 of the top 17 career passing performances in the Sooner state have taken place since 2010. Forty-eight of the top 50, including the top 23, have occurred since 2000.
Locust Grove’s Mason Fine set the standard for high school quarterbacks when he ended his career in 2015 with a record 13,081 yards. His 166 career touchdown passes are also a record.
The most recent addition to Oklahoma’s top career passers is Cashion’s Ben Harman. Harman wrapped up his storied prep career in 2021 with 10,696 yards, which puts him fifth on the all-time charts. Older brother, Matt, is fourth with 11,208 yards.
Why are so many passing records getting broken these days?
“You have your hands on your kids so much more now than you did when I played,” remarked veteran Cashion head coach Lynn Shackelford. “We used to lift in the summer and that was it. We didn’t go to camps or have 7-on-7s. Now they’re everywhere.”
Scanning the Oklahoma career high school football passing yards list also reveals a Heisman Trophy winner (Putnam North’s Sam Bradford – #59), a Major League Baseball All-Star (Stillwater’s Matt Holliday – #54) and a pair of college football defensive record breakers (McLain’s Shawn Jackson – #25 and Wagoner’s Malcom Rodriguez – #57).
Another interesting note in the career passing yards records is there are three schools with two quarterbacks in the top 25. Besides the already-mentioned Harman brothers from Cashion, Lincoln Christian (Chase Ricke-#8 and Micah Wilson-#19) and Bixby (Tanner Griffin – #13 and Mason Williams – #16) made the list.
Access to year-round weight training and coaching has allowed young athletes to progress faster than in year’s past.
“Kids are so much more put together now than they were because there’s really not much of an off-season anymore,” said Shackelford. “They work out all the time.”
“Plus, I think on a lot of levels, it levels the playing field some if you can throw the football,” added Shackelford. “You don’t have to be the biggest or strongest kids in order to be successful.”
For a complete list of the Oklahoma high school football career passing yards, as well as other records, go to IWasAtTheGame.com.