Oklahoma Sports Top 30: No. 10 - Sallisaw OL Garrett Gladd

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 5:42 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Aug 20, 2010 11:0 PM CDT

Oklahoma Sports Top 30 -- Garrett Gladd, Sallisaw High School
- View the full Oklahoma Sports Stop 30

Bobby Lewis
Oklahoma Sports Mobile Journalist

SALLISAW, Oklahoma – Black Diamonds offensive lineman Garrett Gladd wasn’t always this good.

“I wasn’t nothing but a little bitty fat kid when I was a freshman,” the 6-foot-4 senior smiled.

He still tips the scales, but in a good way. The Sallisaw star has made a name for himself on the football field despite some struggles off of it.

Gladd grew up in a single parent home and credits his mother, Lou Ann, for all of his success.

“She’s done a really good job of raising me and my brother by herself,” said Gladd. “She’s got to be number one. As hard as she’s worked to get us to where we are as kids and to get me to where I am as a player, she’s my top role model.”

Under Lou Ann’s watchful eye, Gladd blossomed into a respectful young man and a monster on the field. Gladd helped anchor a Sallisaw offensive line that produced a 1,000 yard rusher and 31-point per game average in 2009.

“He’s one of those kids you don’t coach very often,” said his head coach, Craig Benson. “There are coaches that coach an entire career and never coach a Division I players like we’ve got.”

After shining as an underclassman, Gladd drew attention from teams from all over the country. He opted for Stanford instead of Big 12 schools like Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Kansas State.

“I got to meet a lot of great coaches and I got to meet a lot of great players,” Gladd said of his recruiting trips. “I fell in love with (Stanford). It’s been a fun time for me. When I went out there, everything clicked for me.”

His coach knew immediately that the Cardinal was the right fit for his star. He thinks Gladd has done a great job securing his future.

“He’s handled this like a pro, knowing he didn’t have a father at home,” said Benson. “He’s been very smart. He processes everything. I think that (decision) he made was wise.”

In his final high school season, Gladd hopes to improve his leadership skills. He’s always been a lead-by-example type of player, but wants to be more vocal as a senior.

“He’s a great leader,” Benson said. “Those young kids want to hear him roar and pound his chest a little bit and that’s what he’s tried to do as of late.”

The Black Diamonds fell to the eventual 4A state champions in the 2009 playoffs, and that loss still weighs on Gladd’s mind. He’s determined to end his Sallisaw career on top of the heap.

“We’re bringing a lot of kids back on both sides of the ball,” he said. “Our expectations are really high this year.”

Oklahoma Sports Bio – Garrett Gladd

Height: 6’4”
Weight: 295 pounds

Role Model: His mother, Lou Ann - “As hard as she’s worked to get us to where we are as kids and to get me to where I am as a player, she’s my top role model.”

Favorite Movie: Tie between Friday Night Lights and We Were Soldiers

Favorite Food: Chicken Fried Steak and Mac & Cheese

Favorite Video Game: Call of Duty

Listening to Right Now: Country