FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — Former Central High star Xavier Worthy has had some noteworthy names on speed dial recently.
“Harbaugh, Saban, coach Cristobal, Deion Sanders,” says Worthy, when asked the biggest names he currently has in his phone.
That’s what happens when you are one of the fastest high school receivers in the country, a rare four-star recruit coming out of Fresno.
“It was stressful,” says Worthy, when asked to describe his recruiting process. “I’m not gonna lie, all these offers, coaches texting me every day. It was hard.”
Michigan, where the offensive coordinator is also the Wolverines receivers coach, ended up winning the bidding war for Xavier’s services over the summer.
“The offense is similar to our’s that we run now (at Central),” says Worthy, about choosing Michigan. “Lot of reverses, so I feel like I just fit into that.”
Worthy has always been fast.
As a 12-year-old, he placed in the top ten at the Junior Olympics in the 100m, the 200m and the long jump.
“(He’s a) blur. He’s not only fast, but he’s quick and he accelerates faster than any kid I’ve ever seen,” says Central head football coach Kyle Biggs. “He hits top speed after a couple steps, and noone’s catching him. “
In youth football, they called him “Flash” — after the DC Comic superhero with blazing speed.
“And I wore like ‘Flash’ cleats, and I had gloves, towel, the socks, everything,” says Worthy.
If not for the pandemic, he would have been on the short list of favorites to capture the 100m title at the CIF state track meet last spring as junior, where he thinks he could have posted a time in the 10.3 or 10.2 second range.
It’s on the football field exclusively though, where Xavier will be running at the next level. And he’ll be doing it a little earlier than expected.
With the California high school football season postponed until early January because of COVID-19, Xavier is planning on skipping his final prep football season, graduating early from Central and enrolling at Michigan in January.
“(The decision was) hard, because I wanted to play my senior year,” says Worthy.
Especially since Worthy would have been an offensive focal point this year for a Central team that has won three straight Division-I Central Section titles, and is coming off an undefeated state championship campaign.
“With the season getting pushed back, I have a higher chance of getting hurt, and they said they want me to play early at Michigan, so I just shut it down,” says Worthy.
“I think he made the right decision. His number one thing is he’s got to get bigger. And what better situation to go to, than a Division-I program (at Michigan), who’s got unlimited services for him to utilize,” says Biggs. “It’s gonna be a lot harder than it was at Central, but we feel like we (at Central) prepare our kids for Division-I football, so it’s not gonna be a culture shock for him. He’s gonna be able to step in and contribute, and not be shellshocked about what it takes to be a Division-I athlete. There’s no doubt in my mind that Xavier is gonna be a contributor next year at Michigan, and for the next 3-4 years, depending on how long he’s there.”
Xavier actually isn’t going to Central right now. Instead, he’s taking a few more online courses, so he can graduate and head to Ann Arbor in the spring.