When you first get a glimpse of 5-foot-3, 130-pound Brandon Oroxon, you'd never guess he plays football. Then you'd never believe he was the Northern League offensive player of the year last season as a junior wide receiver at Los Angeles Lincoln High.
"Surprising people is my specialty," he said.
The reaction of fans and players is the same after he makes a catch, then zigs, zags and sprints his way into the end zone. They're baffled that someone so small can be so effective.
"We all knew the plays, but nobody could stop him," Eagle Rock assistant coach Andy Moran said. "It was either a screen pass or go deep. He's pretty scary."
Lincoln linemen don't need to lift weights when Oroxon is around. They just put him on their shoulders for a good workout.
He has come a long way since entering high school weighing 95 pounds. His big accomplishment was getting his mother to let him play tackle football in seventh grade.
"My mom tells me, 'Don't give guys any chance to hurt you, because I don't want to see you lying down in a hospital bed with something broken,'" he said.
Oroxon spends hours in the weight room improving his strength to help him avoid injuries. He said he can lift 205 pounds. Combine that with his exceptional speed and you begin to understand how he can be a pest for opposing teams.
"Anyone who sees him walk on the field would probably snicker and say, 'What's he going to do and how dangerous a player could he be?'" Coach Albert Carrillo said. "When he gets that quick screen and makes a move to the right and makes a move to the left, then he's off to the races and makes opponents become believers that he is a weapon."
At first, Carrillo was reluctant to put him on varsity.
"He was so small," Carrillo said.
Finally, last season, Oroxon got his chance and caught 54 passes for 1,028 yards and nine touchdowns.
Each time he scores a touchdown, he looks forward to a lineman lifting him up to celebrate.
"Those moments are priceless," he said.
A turning point came during varsity practice early last season when Lincoln's All-City linebacker, Jose Bautista, was charging toward him.
"Right when he comes, I spin off him and see him on the ground, then I took it to the house," he said. "That moment I realized, 'Now I can accomplish anything.'"
Oroxon looks forward to turning more skeptics into believers.
"It never gets to me and never will," he said of people making comments. "I don't talk; I just play."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times