If there’s one thing Kamiakin football coach Scott Biglin would like to see from Wyatt Musser, it would be for him to be more aggressive. Unleash the beast, if you will.
Other than that, the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Musser is all a coach could hope for in protecting his quarterback’s blind side.
“Sometimes you have to prod him a bit, punch him in the gut to get him pissed off,” Biglin said. “You want some nastiness in your line. We want him to be a little nastier the next three weeks. When he gets angry, you’d better watch out. You don’t want to be on the other side when that happens.”
When Bonney Lake (9-2) visits the Braves (9-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Class 3A quarterfinals at Lampson Stadium, Musser promises the Panthers will not see a gentle giant across the line.
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“I’m going to have to be a little more aggressive,” Musser said. “Growing up, I was always bigger than everyone else. I’ve been nice my whole life. When coaches start to yell at me, or they say go harder, I will put somebody in the ground. Coach (Gilbert) Marquez tells me to block like I was taught.”
That cost the Braves 15 yards one game.
“He knows what he is doing,” Biglin said. “One play, he drove a kid all the way to our bench and got a flag for it. That’s one where you slap him on the butt and say, ‘Good job.’ ”
Musser lines up at left tackle for the Braves. His frame is perfect for the position, and he moves well for a guy carrying around 285 pounds. He keeps quarterback Zach Borisch standing upright in the pocket and opens holes for running back Jethro Questad.
“He’s always doing his job,” said Borisch, who has thrown for 2,334 yards and 30 touchdowns. “I haven’t gotten killed yet this year, and that’s because of Wyatt. He’s been there since I was 6 years old. Wyatt has the ability to put people on their backs every game. He can clean up out there without trying. If he did that every single play, he’d be scary.”
“He can get mean,” said the running back, who has 1,093 yards and 17 touchdowns to his credit. “He’s a different guy on the field — he’s a scary dude.”
Learning from your losses
Kamiakin’s two losses this season were to Mid-Columbia Conference 4A rivals Chiawana (35-13) and Richland (21-20). The Braves still earned the MCC’s top 3A seed into the playoffs, but they learned valuable lessons along the way.
While the Richland game was a hard-fought battle, the game against the Riverhawks was not.
“Against Chiawana, we weren’t prepared,” Musser said. “We went into that game scared. I don’t know what happened.”
But it hasn’t happened again.
“Credit Chiawana, they got after us,” Biglin said. “I don’t know if I have been as mad as I was after that game. I don’t think we played well. We used that as motivation. Since then, we have played good football.”
Despite what Musser brings to the field, he had to bide his time behind Korbin Sorensen (now at Portland State) last season.
“Last year, he sat behind Korbin and Nick (Little), but he learned,” Biglin said. “He worked hard in the offseason. He is a leader in the weight room — he is the hardest-working kid in the weight room. He gets things done, takes care of his business. He takes care of his grades. He is one of the team captains. He has earned those stripes. We don’t let the kids pick them, we coaches pick them, and he earned that one.”
The Braves work well as a unit because of their strong ties to one another. They are like a family.
“We get along because we are all so close,” Musser said. “We are not a team that is rude to each other. Our team has the greatest connection with each other. Most of us have played together since sixth grade. You have to get along. It’s not the physicality, but the mentality you have with your team.”
On this subject, Borisch has Musser’s back.
“Wyatt is a team-first guy,” Borisch said. “No one gets left out. He’s a guy you want to have on your side.”
Especially on the field.
“If it’s fourth down and we need somewhere to go, Wyatt will get his nose in there and drive them back and get us that first down,” Borisch said. “There have been times I just put my hand on his back and follow him.”
From Rams to Braves
Musser, Borisch and Questad have played football together, on the same team, since they were 6 years old.
Their friendship began when they were playing Grid Kids football for the Rams. They won Super Bowls together, played at Highlands Middle School together, and now are working on a state championship in their last year of football together.
“I have been playing with Zach for 13 years, and I have always protected his blind side,” Musser said. “Not only Zach, but Jethro in the backfield. I need to protect them both. Something I take seriously is protecting everyone. It’s the best position on the field beside quarterback.”
Musser’s efforts have not gone unnoticed.
“At the next level, it will be weird not to have him there,” Borisch said. “He has always exceeded expectations, and I don’t see that changing when we move on.”
Questad referred to Musser as “more than a friend.”
“We have been friends for so long, we are like brothers,” he said. “He’s that guy you want to bring along to a fight. He’d have your back. He is a big key to this team. He is a leader on the line, and he pushes them beyond what they would do.”
But like brothers, sharing is off the table.
“He has all these college offers,” Questad said. “I’d take any one of them.”
Musser has eight college offers on the table after Army extended an invitation Monday.
Also showing interest are the University of Montana, the University of Hawaii, Eastern Washington, Colorado State University, Weber State, the University of Nevada and the University of Idaho. All offers are full rides except for Montana and Idaho.
All offers are for football, but Musser also is a standout track and field athlete, having won the 3A state discus title in May with a throw of 185 feet, 10 inches.
“Actually, I want to do both sports, if they let me,” Musser said. “I love football more than anything. Track is something I love and enjoy. If a big-time school offered for just football, that would be OK. Football is my main sport. I’ve narrowed it down to five schools, and they are all awesome. I will be committing after the season. I will be happy with my decision. I will be playing football for the next five years.”
Musser knows he’s not quite big enough for prime-time football, but he’s willing to put in the work.
He rules the weight room at Kamiakin with a 515-pound squat, a 375 bench and a 300 power clean.
“Some coaches have told me I’m not big enough to play tackle,” Musser said. “I can put on the weight and do it the correct way. I will put on another 100 pounds if I can play that spot. I want to play somewhere and maybe get noticed and go pro.”