Former Angleton teammates will reunite on Saturday

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D.J. Monroe, left, watches an Angleton High football game alongside Quandre Diggs. The former high school teammates were reunited this season at Texas. (Photo Courtesy of Angleton High School journalism department)

Talk about a reunion.

Angleton High School will be well-represented at Faurot Field on Saturday when Texas visits Missouri.

Longhorns cornerback Quandre Diggs and tailback D.J. Monroe grew up in Angleton with Mizzou running back Henry Josey, and for the first time since 2007, all three will be playing on the same field.

Diggs and Monroe circled this game on their calendars before the season started, and with MU leaving the Big 12 for the SEC next year, this will more than likely be their only chance to play against their close friend Josey.

“I’m really excited to see him,” Monroe said. “We actually have been waiting for this. I haven’t seen him in so long, I’m going to give him a hug.”

Diggs and Josey met back during their Pop Warner days and their friendship blossomed throughout high school. When they weren’t busy throwing the pigskin around, they were taking fishing trips to the Gulf of Mexico.

Back in Angleton, there was hardly an instance when the two weren’t side by side.

“We just look at each other like brothers,” Josey said. “Me and Quandre pretty much talk every day. Growing up throughout high school, we were always together. We have a real close bond. It kind of just grew on us because we were always together.”

There was a time when Diggs would have welcomed Josey finding the end zone. After all, he was the quarterback at Angleton High, where the Wildcats used an option rushing attack. Now, the freshman corner will be looking to stop the Big 12’s leading rusher.

Make no mistake, there will definitely be some chatter between the two, and Josey will be sure to have a response should Diggs tackle him.

“I haven’t planned out what I’m going to say yet, but I will say something to him,” said Josey, laughing. “We’ll joke around, stuff like that. It won’t be anything that gets us kicked out the game.”

Diggs didn’t need to watch much tape of Josey this week, though, considering he’s been following his former running mate closely. He makes sure to catch all of Missouri’s games and keep an eye on Josey. After each game, Diggs offers a word of encouragement in a text message.

“I’ve got to keep up with my brother,” Diggs said. “He’s doing such a great job. I support him with everything he does. We both support each other. I try to watch him as much as I can.”

So far, Diggs has seen nothing but the best from his dear friend.

Josey’s four straight games with more than 100 rushing yards brought about memories of his junior season at Angleton in 2009, when he led the Wildcats to an 11-2 record and a district championship.

“It was a crazy year,” said Josey, who rushed for 1,369 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2009. “You never knew who had the ball or who was going to get the ball. Each one of us had our special thing that we could do with the ball because we were all fast.”

Yes, speed is a common theme among Angleton backs.

While Josey leads the nation with 43 runs of 10-plus yards, Monroe has the same big-play ability. He averages 7.9 yards per carry, slightly less than Josey’s 8.6 average.

“It’s the Angleton running backs, that’s just how we do it,” Monroe said. “We were a running team in high school and stuff like that we live for. We expect it.”

When asked to describe Josey’s running style, Monroe summed it up shortly.

“I call him thunder and lightening,” he said. “He can turn his speed into power.”

On Saturday, the old fishing buddies won’t be talking about who had the biggest catch. The bragging rights will come down to who wins the game.

But whatever the outcome, at least one Angleton Wildcat will be victorious.

Published on Thursday, November 10, 2011 as: Purple Daze