Jim Stull knows he can no longer be just another football player or student at Westminster High.
He realized that when he stepped on the scales last month and they read 305 pounds.
That's right, 305, and he is playing high school football in Carroll County, an area not known for producing giants on the gridiron.
Suddenly he is something special. He is Jim Stull, that 6-foot-6, 305-pound senior offensive and defensive tackle for the Westminster Owls.
Gone are two years of part-time status on the football team. Three-hundred-pounders just don't sit on the bench in high school.
Stull not only is the talk of the county but letters have started coming in from collegiate football recruiters from Purdue, West Virginia and Delaware.
Opposing players from Crossland were left shaking their heads in disbelief after they got a look at Stull during a scrimmage a couple of weeks ago.
In the hallways of Westminster High these days, many students can be seen gawking at this man-child who is only 17 years old.
"I get a lot of long stares and gazes," said Stull. "They are talking behind my back, with the usual rhetoric like 'I can't believe he's that big.' I get tired of it but it comes with the territory."
Stull will live with all the sometimes rude attention as long as he can help Westminster have a winning season.
"The idea [of being 305] is to intimidate the other team," he said. "I've always been tall for my age but I was never really too big
until the past two years."
In those two years, Stull has made an incredible run from 230 pounds to 305. The final rush came this summer when he gained 40 pounds.
How did he do it?
He spent two hours each morning all summer long in the weight room, did running, jumping and agility drills two days a week, ate loads of oatmeal and steamed crabs, and drank plenty of apple juice and milk.
All of which had the grocery bill at Claude and Diana Stull's house in Finksburg zooming out of sight.
"My mom [Diana] can't believe how big our grocery bill is each week," said Stull, who should make life a lot safer for Westminster quarterback Steve Mays this season.
In his first two years on the team, Stull was used primarily on the offensive line. Now, he also will play defensive tackle.
When asked if he liked to hit people, Stull, who could never play recreation football because he weighed too much for his age, at first said, 'No,' but relented and said "Yes, I do."
New Westminster coach Tim Ebersole has been impressed with Stull's work habits over the summer and in practices and scrimmages.
Ebersole said no one should get the idea that Stull will be on the field just to startle teams with his size.
"He has the size and strength to play his position," said Ebersole. "We're going to be able to run off-tackle behind him and our tight end Mat Mathias [6-5, 235 pounds]. That's more than 500 pounds coming at you."
Ebersole said Stull has been quick to pick up everything in the new multiple-I offense he has installed.
As far as Stull's potential to play football in college is concerned, Ebersole believes it is too early to tell.
"It depends on how the season goes," he said.
However, Stull said he is already dreaming about receiving a scholarship to play football in college.
"I'd love to do it," he said. "I spent all summer in the weight room working to make myself stronger and I can bench 280 pounds.
"I don't like to do a whole lot of other things besides playing football. I mostly watch television and go out with my girl when I'm not on the football field."
There is one other sports venture Stull plans to pursue next spring -- he wants to try out for the baseball team and play first base.
"I've always played baseball and basketball in rec leagues," he said. "And I was pretty good."
Of course, Stull doesn't expect any favors from Westminster co-baseball coach Guy Stull. The two aren't related.
Making the Jim Stull story even more intriguing is the fact that neither of his parents ever played sports and no one in his family is close to his size.
His younger brother, Randy, is a 5-8, 160-pound freshman.
The closest resemblance to Jim Stull is his great-uncle Carl Brothers, who was a 200-plus-pound tackle in the U.S. Coast Guard.
"It just happened for me," said Stull.