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Boomer Bio: Juaquin Iglesias
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A look at OU's young WR
A quick scan of the University of Oklahoma letterwinners list yields no results for the name â€śJuaquin.â€ť Donâ€™t bother looking for â€śIglesiasâ€ť either, because itâ€™s nowhere to be found.
At least not yet.
Those two words wonâ€™t officially be recorded into OU football history until the next printing of OUâ€™s football media guide. By the time the 2006 season rolls around, Iglesias will be sporting a new crimson and cream jacket emblazoned with a big white â€śO.â€ť
As it stands now, true freshman Juaquin Iglesias is in the process of working on that first varsity letter, only a few months after arriving in Norman.
Youth is being served within the Soonersâ€™ receiving corps and Iglesias appears to be one of the rising stars. He demonstrated why during a double-overtime game against Baylor, when he hauled in a 21-yard pass from Rhett Bomar that proved to be the game winner.
Although that was his lone catch of the night, Iglesias had entered the game ranked fifth on the team in catches. And his 12.7 yards per catch average was fourth best.
So how exactly did a 6-foot-1 kid from Killeen, Texas, wind up catching bullets his first year in town? Especially a kid most people believed was destined to redshirt.
â€śItâ€™s just hard work and confidence really. Putting in the time needed to get it done and coaches giving you the opportunity and running with them,â€ť offered Iglesias, who turned 18 a few days prior to OUâ€™s 2005 season opener.
Iglesias said he tries to sit down every day and understand exactly whatâ€™s going on.
â€śAll the time. I just sit back and realize coming from Killeen itâ€™s a big jump,â€ť he said.
Realistically, Iglesias didnâ€™t think he had a shot at catching a pass that wasnâ€™t a part of an afternoon workout during his freshman season. But when OUâ€™s offense sputtered early in the fall, changes were needed and personnel were rotated.
Iglesias started getting some work with the first team and then got an opportunity to show what he could do on the field on Saturdays. Soon, all of the extra work and effort began paying dividends for the sure-handed pass catcher with 4.4 speed.
â€śI was ready to do whatever. I had an idea I was going to redshirt, but it didnâ€™t work out that way,â€ť he said.
At no time was that any clearer than during the Baylor contest at Memorial Stadium, with the outcome still very much in doubt. Iglesias, his heart racing, lined up against one-on-one coverage. He could feel the ball coming his way before it was ever snapped into Bomarâ€™s hands.
Iglesiasâ€™ first move was inside, but that was a fake, and it proved good enough to make the Baylor defender bite. Iglesias then slid outside and raced toward the corner of the end zone where Bomarâ€™s offering cut through the cool October air.
â€śItâ€™s one of the best feelings Iâ€™ve ever had in my life. My first college touchdown, game-winning, double overtime. It really doesnâ€™t get any better than that,â€ť said Iglesias.
Luckily, the Sooners got the points for the grab and not the landing. Iglesiasâ€™ momentum carried him up and into the tunnel, where he learned that cleats and concrete donâ€™t mix. While his teammates were celebrating the score in front of 80,000 fans, Iglesias found himself on his back looking up at a pair of ponies named Boomer and Sooner.
He quickly scrambled to his feet and rejoined the action, as the sounds of revelry filled his helmet. He remembered that his father, Bobby, and his uncle were in the stands soaking it all in.
It was a memorable moment â€” the first of many to come.
Iglesias knows the future has already arrived for himself and fellow freshman receivers â€” Malcolm Kelly and Manuel Johnson.
â€śWeâ€™re just ready to get in and make plays. We know we have to step up when weâ€™re needed and I think thatâ€™s what weâ€™re doing,â€ť he said. â€śWeâ€™re just ready. Weâ€™ve been making plays all our life. I think weâ€™re just ready to do it in front of big crowds.â€ť
This story appeared in the Nov. 2 issue of Sooner Spectator magazine. For more information about subscribing, call 1-800-888-6181 or check out our homepage for a discount.