Averaging almost five tackles per game and recording eight sacks on the season, Greenwood senior defensive end Austin Archer has proven to be a force to reckon with on the Bulldogs' defense this season.
Fellow senior Garrett Whitlock has high praise for his defensive teammate. “Austin brings the life to the defense. Not only is he a phenomenal playmaker, he is also a good leader. It’s rare to see him without a smile on his face,” said Whitlock.
Austin made the move from wide receiver to defensive end early last season. He acknowledged it was a big change, but also a pretty smooth transition thanks to former defensive coach, Josh Nation, who has since moved into administration.
In limited playing time in 2017, Archer recorded four tackles (two for losses), but has seen his playing time and stats increase dramatically this year. Austin has 64 total tackles in 10 games this fall, while recording 19 solo tackles and eight sacks.
This season, Greenwood coaches have utilized his deceptive speed to line him up on the outside, giving him the best chance to crash the opponent's backfield and make a tackle.
Archer also agrees with the coaches that his speed is what makes him so dangerous on the field. But Austin does not just credit himself, saying the GHS defense has great chemistry this year, which separates them from their competition.
As the talented defensive end gears up for another state championship run, he says Greenwood needs to “focus on the end goal” and “play our game instead of the other teams’ game.”
After the season Archer plans to enjoy his last semester of high school before attending the University of Arkansas and majoring in business. Austin is the son of Scott and Stacey Archer.