9th Grade Football Player’s One Handed Catch Might Be The Best In The History Of The Sport

High school football catch
Zack Blackerby

Every week in the NFL, someone brings down a catch that makes you think “how in the hell did they catch that?”

There are many in the history of professional football that stand out, though it seems like we are adding plenty of plays  the “Best Catches of All Time” consideration list.

And in order to really showcase how special of a catch this 9th grade football player from Alabama had, we do have to go through some of the other all-time catches for reference.

I think it helps to appreciate greatness when you see other examples, so that’s why I’ve collected some of the better grabs that the sport has seen so you can then compare it to the high school player’s catch.

Now I know this one might be a little “overhyped,” but the Odell Beckham Jr. catch from 2014 has to be up there on the list of the sport’s greatest grabs:

Moving right along, during a matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Buffalo Bills just last year, Justin Jefferson entered the chat on the all-time catch list with this unbelievable grab on a 4th down prayer from Kirk Cousins:

I’m biased because I’m a Vikings fan, but come on, how does someone catch that?

And finally, we’ve got a catch from the college football level that happened just a few weeks ago when Florida Gators wide out Ricky Pearsall hauled in a ball overhanded while he was getting tackled.

Like a left fielder running down a fly ball in the gap, this one doesn’t even really make sense:

Alright, so now you’ve seen a gathering of all-time great, head-scratching catches, which means you are prepared to see this high school football player by the name of Ja’quez Johnson pull off an absolutely ridiculous catch.

Johnson is a freshman for the Opelika Bulldogs, and as the cool kids are saying nowadays (I think), he’s definitely got that dawg in him after this play.

While running a post route in the middle of the field, Johnson was thrown the ball from his quarterback while he was double covered. The pass looked to be thrown a touch high, but that didn’t phase Ja’Quez.

In very similar fashion to the above Florida Gators catch, the high school football player jumped up and caught the ball overhanded, seeming to match the movement and momentum of the ball with their outreached hand in order to bring it in.

I do wish we had a couple of other angles of the catch, because I truly believe it could be locked in as a Top 5 catch in the history of football. I mean, the ball seemed to already be past him when he reached forward and snagged it.

Take a look (and pause it and watch it in slow-motion if you can):

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock