Though definitely a contributor on the 2012 Miners team that went 7-4 and made the playoffs, an ongoing ankle injury kept Herring from really shining. Hoping to come back stronger and faster for his senior year, Herring joined Hartshorne’s powerlifting program in the winter — he made State in the 168-pound class — and ran track in the spring.
The strategy paid off, as Herring has stayed injury-free through the first half of the 2013 season. He’s been a key part of a Miners offense that’s averaged 37.5 points through the first six games, including a 62-point performance on Oct. 11 against Hugo.
“Our offense ran for over 400 yards as a team,” Herring said of the Hugo game.
“It’s flying by, senior year.”
As someone who watches football “every day,” Herring said his favorite teams are the New York Jets and the University of Texas Longhorns. This has generated a few good-natured arguments with his teammates, he said, as most of them root for either the Oklahoma Sooners or Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Herring added he’s especially enjoyed being a Longhorns fan this week, having watched them upset the Sooners on Saturday.
Herring said he’s tried to draw inspiration from Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders, because Sanders always looked elusive and could rarely be tackled by just one defender. Defenders have had a tough time tackling Herring as well, especially in the backfield.
“When I get the ball, I don’t really think,” Herring said. “Everything is just instinct. I just look for the first hole I see and try to make something out of it.”
Herring added that his favorite play is a counter run to the right side that he can usually turn into a big gain.
Herring’s played well enough so far to attract the attention of schools such as Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, the University of Southern Arkansas in Magnolia and MidAmerica Nazarene in Olathe, Kan. None have offered an actual scholarship, he said, but as a worst-case scenario Herring would probably go to NSU and try to walk onto the team.