The Ducks have had brother acts before: Brian and Spencer Paysinger, Josh and Justin Wilcox. Can’t remember twins. Today they added commitments from twin brothers Stephen and Eric Amoako of Martin High in Arlington Texas. Each 5-11 195, they boast sub 4.5 40s, and played on a Martin team that went 10-3 last year, 7-0 and undefeated league champions, losing in the semi-finals of the Texas UIL division. In the quarterfinal win over San Angelo Central the Amoako brothers and their backfield mates held their opponents to just 81 yards passing on 28 attempts. The two seniors from that secondary both signed Division I offers in February, Devonta Burns with Texas A&M, Ryan Pollard to Air Force.
The Amoako brothers are a perfect fit for the Oregon defense. They’re fast and physical. Eric had 59 tackes, 2 sacks and 3 interceptions last season. He returned a fumble 61 yards for a score in 58-48 victory over Flower Mound back in September. The two had dual offers from Kansas State, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Purdue with a season yet to play as preps. Eric told Brian McLaughlin of the Sporting News, “My brother and I have always played football with each other, our whole lives. It feels great getting the opportunity to continue playing with him at such a great program.”
Texas High School football is serious stuff. There’s spring practice and a spring game. The Amoakos first got exposed to Oregon when they played last summer in a national 7-on-7 camp at the Beaverton, Oregon Nike Campus. It’s a year-round commitment, even at the high school level.
Their coach, Bob Wager, came to Texas 17 years ago to coach high school football. George Riba of WFAA-TV tells the story: Wager was coaching at Springfield College in Massachusetts when he read the book Friday Night Lights (the inspiration for the movie and TV series, a powerful story by H.G. Bissinger) sold his Jeep, bought a motorcycle and drove to Texas with $500 in his pocket to pursue a dream of coaching in the most football-impassioned state in the union. Bissinger’s account was a stern indictment of the excesses of Texas high school football, but it inspired Wager. He fulfilled a dream in 2009 when his Arlington-Martin squad beat Permian, the “Friday Night Lights” school in the state quarterfinals.
He told Riba,”I think Texas high athletics, and in particular, high school football is the best in the country. I’m humbled to be in the position that I’m in and have the opportunity to have the role in the lives of the kids that I coach, and it’s never been a disappointment.”