Mingo Central senior wide receiver Drew Hatfield has thrust himself into quite the discussion.
That discussion is — Is Hatfield the best wide receiver in the state of West Virginia.
For Mingo Central fans, the answer is a resounding — Yes.
Pilling up yards, catches and touchdowns at an alarming rate.
At such a rate he has put himself on the brink of breaking all the season receiving records along with most of the career records at that position.
The records that Hatfield is zeroing in on were set in the late 90’s and have stood the test of a little over two decades without anyone coming as close as him this year.
“It’s an real honor,and it’s real exciting for me,” Hatfield stated on even being in the same breathe as some of the guys that played a part in building the records he is set to pass.
Now, Hatfield is not only about to break some records, but because of the monster season he is having he may walk away from his senior season with some hardware as well.
The hardware being referenced is the “Randy Moss Award.” An award given out by the West Virginia Sports Writer’s Association to the best receiver in the state.
One might ask, “What makes you the best receiver in the state? Is it simply stats? Is it meaningful wins that the individual performs well in?”
With any of the questions that may arise Hatfield’s game speaks for itself and if that doesn’t speak loud enough for you, then maybe his stats might.
On the season, Hatfield has hauled in 91 receptions thus far (eight games) in the regular season; the current record holder, Chris Fulmer, had 99 in the regular season (10 games).
Hatfield still has two games left in his regular season and is averaging over 10 receptions a game. It may be safe to say Fulmer’s record won’t stand past the regular season.
But does he have the yards to show he is the big play threat that any fan of the sport knows Randy Moss himself was capable of?
Currently, Hatfield leads the state in receiving yards with 1,375; he has a 200-yard lead on the closest receiver.
Fulmer again holds this regular season record with 1,443 yards. Another record that isn’t going to last if Hatfield stays on the pace he is on over the next two games.
Now, your probably wondering are these yards meaningful though? Is he finishing plays off and getting into the end zone?
Well eight games into this season, Hatfield has 17 receiving TDs and has had multiple showings where he has posted three plus TDs in a game, so yeah you can assume he is finishing these plays off.
Christian Johnson set this regular season record in 2014 with 24 touchdowns, but Hatfield knows this will be the hardest of the records to pass with only two regular season games remaining.
However the senior knows how teams will defend him and what it will take to remain “always open” in the infamous words of Moss himself.
“People will typically put an outside linebacker on me with a two high safety look,” Hatfield said. “With most of my routes, I have a lot of tag stuff which is just me working to get the ball. On certain plays I have to read the safeties and see if it’s two high. I may have to split them and typically the outside linebacker that plays me is in man, so I may have to push him to 10 yards instead of if he was in zone it’d be more like three and I’d have to bend into my route.”
So now you see that Hatfield has the numbers to be considered the best receiver in the state and if he breaks these records, he may be the best receiver to have ever played in the state, statistically speaking.
But the question remains, what meaningful wins has he contributed in?
Well there is a simple answer to this important question. Every win the Miners have this season.
Now this isn’t down playing any of Hatfield’s teammates and their efforts, but anyone that watches the team knows that the offense is focused around him and the impact he has every time he touches ball whether it be outside the numbers, in the slot, or even out of the backfield, the goal is to simply get this playmaker the ball in some sort of space and let him make defenders look silly.
But Hatfield gives the credit to his offensive coordinator Joey Fields and his teammates.
“In my opinion, and I’m not just saying this because he is my coach, but coach Fields is one of the best coaches in general in the state.”
“Anytime me or Day Day (quarterback Daylin Goad) see something on the field we always get on a headset and tell him what we are seeing, we just trust that he is putting us in the best situations to win,” Hatfield said.
So with the facts laid out in the open, it is almost irrefutable to say that Hatfield is and should be a shoe in winner of the Moss Award come season’s end.
Hatfield is looking to take home a trophy (the Moss Award) that his efforts and numbers has proved he deserves, and become one of the best in the eyes of football lovers all over the state of West Virginia.
To see the full exclusive interview with Drew Hatfield keep an eye on all of the Mingo Messenger’s social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.