TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Before Patrick Mahomes was confounding NFL defenses, he was a wizard on the field in East Texas and Rusk head football coach Thomas Sitton had a front-row seat to many of his performances back when his Chapel Hill Bulldogs would face off against Whitehouse.

“We’d always feel at some point, when we did get a good pass rush on him that we had him right in our sights and his scrambling and his escapability, was, well it wasn’t fun to watch at that point, but it’s been fun to watch, see him to that to you know some of the best athletes in the world,” said Sitton.

For others in the area, such as Gilmer head coach Alan Metzel, his Buckeyes only had to see him in a scrimmage, while Longview Lobos head coach John King never had to face him on the field, but both knew this kid had something different.

“He’s a superstar, no matter where he goes, and to know that here he is from East Texas, and we scrimmaged against him a few years ago when he was a junior and senior, it’s pretty neat to go oh yeah we were on the field that guy you know that’s pretty awesome,” said Metzel.

“I never will forget the first time I saw him in action was out here for Texas Tech football camp and watching him throw the ball and just interact with people you knew right there, he had a chance to be special how special nobody knows,” said King.

Well after five years as a starter in the league, we now know how special he has become, but for these East Texas coaches, beyond what he does on the field, they are more impressed with how he represents East Texas, as a person.

“It’s great seeing somebody that succeeded so well still be so humble, and you can tell he puts the right things first, he puts his teammates first, watching them move the football, he’s going to throw it to everybody on the field spread is around and he just seems like a great young man,” said Sitton.

As Mahomes looks to add to his legacy this Sunday in Arizona, he’s clearly left a lasting impact under the Friday night lights of East Texas football.