Jamie Biddison carries a 3.75 grade-point average and longs to attend Duke or Wake Forest universities, with designs on being a doctor, like his father, James, who is a cardiologist.
But that's the future.
This fall, the 17-year-old Gilman junior's heart pounded to "make that great defensive play" as the Greyhounds' doctor of destroying offenses.
"I always wanted to be in on every play," said Biddison, who also wrestles and plays baseball. "Our style is just a tough, grind-it-out hitting game."
There are a number of things about Biddison that make him a great inside linebacker, but neither his mouth -- "I don't think taunting should be part of the game, I let my skills do the talking," he says -- or his size (5 feet 11, 178 pounds) is among them.
"He's going to get bigger, I'm sure," said Gilman coach Sherm Bristow of Biddison, The Baltimore Sun's All-Baltimore County/City Defensive Football Player of the Year. "But until then, he's certainly penciled in as our inside linebacker for next season."
That's because Biddison, whom Bristow calls "the best all-around performer" for the eighth-ranked Greyhounds (7-3), racked up a Maryland Scholastic Association-leading 156 tackles 104 solo -- from that position.
Offensively, Biddison made the most of his 43 carries for 168 yards, scoring five touchdowns. He was also the leading receiver (seven passes for 58 yards) for the defense-oriented Greyhounds and returned eight kickoffs for an average of 23 yards.
But Biddison preferred running into the backfield to trying to escape it, as evidenced by his 10 hurries.
He made a habit of sticking running backs and quarterbacks before the play even developed, piling up 16 tackles for losses and two sacks.
"He's got an incredible nose for the ball," said Bristow.
Biddison intercepted a pass -- one of his four interceptions this season -- for a critical touchdown in a 17-6 victory over Calvert Hall.
Against Mount St. Joseph, Biddison pounced on a fumble -- one of his four fumble recoveries this season -- with two seconds left in the half, setting up Mike Allan's 37-yard field goal for a 17-0 lead in an eventual 31-0 blowout.
"He's just always where the ball is," said Bristow. "He's the most aggressive tackler we had, always there to make the first hit."
Those first hits are often the last thing opposing players remember about playing against Biddison.
"When I make a hit, the other guy knows it. And the satisfaction is inside of me, so I don't have to talk trash -- I just get up and walk away," said Biddison.