Video: Meet "Shade Tree" Gavin RupeSullivan Central High School junior is a true giant on the gridiron.
During a hot, summer football practice in 2015, Sullivan Central (Blountville, Tenn.)
assistant coach John Thomas needed some cover.
He knew exactly where to find it.
Thomas leaned on a towering freshman and said, "I think I'll get some shade under you."
That's how now-junior Gavin Rupe
came to be known as "Shade Tree."
The 6-foot-8, 420-pound defensive tackle is one of the largest players on a football roster at any level this season. He's still just 16 years old and wears a size 19 shoe.
"Shockingly enough, Rupe has pretty much been that large since his freshman year," Sullivan Central head coach Chris Steger said.
See the video above for more on Rupe – a pillar of hope for a program that has lost 21 games in a row.