In football, a receiver's "got hands" if he catches everything thrown his direction. Julio Jones has hands. A.J. Green has hands. And Kris Silbaugh, a Pennsylvania high school wide receiver has hands, despite only being born with one.
"It was just some sort of birth defect," the high school junior recently told USA Today of his missing left hand.
It's hardly slowed him down. On Friday, Silbaugh caught a 43-yard touchdown pass and broke his school's receiving yardage record. He already holds its receiving touchdown record. Now he's got his sights on the receptions record, which is only 19 one-handed catches away.
Silbaugh didn't start playing football until he was 14. As a fast kid, wide receiver seemed like a natural position to play. Then again, as someone with one hand, it didn't. Silbaugh says he still remembers how shocked his coach was when he told him the position he wanted to play.
Now, his coaches have him at wide receiver and cornerback, where he regularly intercepts passes thrown by the other team (he made 3 last season). His missing left hand couldn't be less important, especially considering his 4.4 speed and play making ability.
With recuriting letter pouring in, Silbaugh's goals are growing: the kid who just wanted to play football now wants to dominate. As he told USA Today, "I know that people will always be shocked at what I’m able to do because I only have one hand, but my goal is to be known as a dominant player, period.”