As his high school football career progressed you just knew Joe Street would some day take his game to the next level.
The bruising Logan High School senior running back has done just that.
Street, a 6-foot, 235-pounder, signed a national letter of intent on Thursday to play collegiate football at the University of Charleston, a Division II school.
Street led Logan to an 8-3 record and Class AAA home playoff game last fall during his senior season. He ended up rushing for 1,176 yards and scoring 16 touchdowns.
Last Saturday at Charleston’s Laidley Field, which also happens to be the home stadium of UC, Street led the South as he rushed for 76 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns on runs of 6 and 7. Street’s 7-yard TD run in overtime lifted the South to the 36-28 victory over the North in the North-South Football Classic.
Last fall for the Wildcats, Street teammed with running back David Toney to form one of the state’s best backfields. The two of them combined for 2,000 yards on the ground. Toney, who is headed to play at Division II West Virginia State, also played with Street one last time in the North-South Game.
Logan coach Gary Mullins said the University of Charleston is getting a good one in Street.
“I think anywhere would be a good fit for Joe as far as running the ball,” Mullins said. “As he showed in the North-South Game, he’s a hard guy to bring down. I think that he will help anybody that he goes to.”
The Street-to-UC deal had been in the works for quite some time.
“He had been talking to them for a while and a couple of other schools,” Mullins said. “It was pretty much a done deal before the game. I’m sure the way that he played didn’t hurt anything. It just showed that he was definitely one of the best players in the state.”
Mullins said Street will be impossible to replace.
“With Joe and David we’re going to lose about 80 percent of our offense,” Mullins said. “You can’t replace them with one or two guys. You have to find multiple guys to step up and step into their roles. We have to find a way to get the same output. We’ll just have to have different guys try to do it.”
Over the years, Street was never really referred to as a “fullback.”
Even with his size.
Street definitely would run over you, make no mistake about that.
But he could also run over you and then run past the linebackers deep into the secondary with his surprising speed.
Therefore, Mullins also called Street a “running back” or referred to him as the other tailback in Logan’s backfield with Toney.
“He broke out there in the Huntington game and outran those guys to the end zone,” said Mullins, talking about one of Street’s touchdowns in last fall’s come-from-behind 28-27 win at Huntington. “He kind of showed his break-away speed. He was pretty much a tailback from the time that he came on. He’s not as shifty as some of the tailbacks that you might see but he didn’t try to be. His shiftiness was running through you. He really didn’t try to make you miss he just tried to get over you. He has a lot of tools that you normally don’t find together in a running back.”
Street said he’s looking forward to going to the University of Charleston. UC just announced a few days ago it would be leaving the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, along with eight other league schools, to form a new 12-team conference.
The 2012 football season will apparently be the last one in the WVIAC for the Golden Eagles.
“I’m very excited to go to UC,” Street said. “I had a lot of offers from a lot of schools but they made the best offer when I went to visit. It seemed right and I feel like it was a good fit for me.”
Street said he enjoyed last week’s North-South experience. He played for Chapmanville Regional High School head coach George Barker, who guided the South Cardinals to victory.
“I had a blast,” he said. “It was probably one of the funnest weeks of my life. I got to meet a lot of new people and made a lot of new friends. We had a good time and we played our hearts out.”
Street said it was good to team with Toney one more time.
“We’ve been playing together since the eighth-grade and it was nice to play on the same team one more time,” he said.
Street also played together on both the Logan football and basketball teams with his younger brother Brynden “Worm” Street.
“I love him,” Street said of his brother. “I just hope he keeps his head in the books.”
Two memorable plays by Street last season helped solidify the Wildcats’ home playoff berth and were the anchors to Logan’s highly successful grid campaign.
Both plays directly led Logan to wins.
Without those two the Wildcats would have faced a 6-4 season and a first-round road trip.
The first play happened in Week 5 of the season at rival Chapmanville.
The Tigers, which had beaten Logan in each of Street’s first three varsity seasons, had the upperhand in the game until late. That was when Street scored on a last minute touchdown run to pull the Wildcats to within 21-20.
Faced with going for the tie and overtime with the extra point kick or going for the win, Coach Mullins didn’t hesitate.
He was going for two and the win and Joe Street was getting the ball.
Street got the handoff and lunged for the end zone and jumped high over a pile of bodies but was hit in mid air. He was not wrapped up though and it was Street’s second push which put him over the goal line to give Logan the 22-21 victory over the Tigers.
“That was probably my most memorable moment,” Street said of the Chapmanville game. “I always thought I would go to Bluefield where my dad played but I told myself that I would never leave Logan until we beat Chapmanville. It look my last year to do it.”
Street said senior offensive lineman Matt Southers helped get him into the end zone.
“I owe that second push to Matt Southers,” he said. “He helped me get back on my feet after I was hit. I landed but he got behind me. Honestly, when I got up in the air and they hit me I didn’t know what was going to happen. My heart was racing.”
Street’s second memorable play was in the Week 7 win over the Highlanders in Huntington. It that one, it was Street’s 5-yard halfback option pass to Brant Williams in the end zone which put the Wildcats over the top. The victory improved Logan to 6-1 on the season and the Cats were well on their way to the Class AAA playoffs.
“When Coach Mullins called the play I was ready for it,” Street said. “Coach told me that I had the option to run it or throw it. Everyone on the team looked at me and told me to run the ball. But when we ran the play I knew that I was going to get hit so I threw it to Brant.”
Street said he plans in studying sports management or athletic training at UC.
“I really love sports so I really want to continue that in my life,” he said.