American Leadership Academy-Queen Creek senior two-way star Tarrik Workman lets his work and his play, do the talking, much like the NFL legend he grew up emulating in the far south east Valley.
“The inspiration for me is Walter Payton, to me the greatest running back of all-time,” Workman said to Sports360AZ.com. “I try to do that. He’s the best for me.”
So far Workman’s best has been pretty good. A mainstay for the defending 3A State Champion Patriots (7-1), the running back/middle linebacker/strong safety has been a leader both on the field, as well as in the classroom for head coach Rich Edwards.
“If you had to say a word about Tarrik, it’s hard work,” Edwards explained to Sports360AZ.com. “That’s the legacy he’ll leave as a three-year player for us. He never says a word. He’s a quiet young man but he speaks loudly with his actions.”
ALA: Neville w 39yd pass to McLachlan to Gopher 10yd. Workman 10yd TD run next play (Rider PAT good) ALA 38, Florence 6. 2:55 left 3Q
— ALA QC Football (@alaqcfootball) September 30, 2017
A three-sport athlete, who also participates in basketball and track at ALA, Workman already has more rushing yards (724) and touchdowns (nine) through the first eight games this fall than he accumulated his past two seasons on varsity combined in both categories.
— County Line Preps (@CountyLinePreps) October 6, 2017
When the modest Workman isn’t focusing on his academics or football, he prefers to spend his time outside.
“I do love to hunt and fish,” Workman said with a grin.
Defensively, Workman has excelled hunting down opponents between the white lines. He’s averaging over four tackles per contest and is second on ALA in sacks.
However, the statistics don’t tell the entire story of his importance to the team and the standards he sets for the program both on the field and, more importantly, in the classroom.
“Those are the kind of kids that we need and we want,” Edwards explained. “He quietly goes about his work. Tarrik’s number three, sometimes four, sometimes number two in his class. He helps tutor other kids. He works as hard in the classroom as he does on the field.”