The Oklahoman's Super 30: Andre Dollar's journey as coach's son led him to Oregon

MUSTANG — Andre Dollar has always had the best guidance in his athletic career. 

If he needed help, his mentor was just in the next room over.

“He’s been coaching for 22 years,” Dollar said of his father, Sam.

Sam Dollar is the defensive coordinator at Mustang High School. Despite Andre growing up learning about defensive schemes and having the size of a defensive end, he found his liking on the other side of the line of scrimmage — at tight end.

“Ultimately, I liked catching touchdowns rather than tackling people," Andre Dollar said. “I just picked offense and kind of took off.”

His position change didn't discourage Andre from learning from his father. He just found a different way to apply it. Instead of using his knowledge of defensive schemes to stop an opposing offense, he uses it to find his way through a defense.

It's worked out pretty well for him.

More:What is The Oklahoman’s Super 30? Breaking down the yearly recruiting series

Andre Dollar is No. 10 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list of the state’s top high school recruits in the 2022 class. And despite him opting out of his junior football season last year because of the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, Dollar still pulled in many Division-I offers. With high intelligence, massive size and talent, schools couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get Dollar. He committed to Oregon last September.

Having a father as a coach has helped Dollar's football IQ along with his work ethic. Dollar doesn't slack off. Even when he had taken the season off, Dollar was far from home carrying cement blocks, flipping tires and pulling four-wheelers with Sam during quarantine last year. 

“We were up in the mountains in Georgia, and my dad had us doing all sorts of stuff,” Dollar said with a smile. 

It’s the type of work ethic that has built his 6-foot-6, 231-pound body, which he uses to barrel through defenders and catch passes over opposing defenses. Sam has pushed Andre to work hard no matter the situation and the son hasn’t taken his father's knowledge for granted. He’s listened to every word.

"He knows the path I need to take for me to achieve my goals," Andre Dollar said. "My ultimate goal was to play college football."

For that reason, Andre didn’t pout when Sam decided to move the family from Florida in June of 2019 for the coaching job at Mustang. He only focused on the benefits. 

“He thought it was a better fit for our family and gave us more options,” Andre said. “It definitely helped me as a tight end to be starting on varsity as a sophomore. Being in the middle of the county definitely opened up my recruiting a lot.”

Mustang High School's Andre Dollar poses for a photo in the locker room at the school in Mustang, Okla. on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

Even though Andre was moving to a new school in a new state, he immediately made himself comfortable, becoming an instant starter and impact player at Mustang. In his sophomore season, Dollar grabbed 20 catches for 223 yards and four touchdowns to help lead Mustang to the Class 6A-I state playoffs.

“Any time you’re a coach's kid, there is added pressure,” Mustang coach Lee Blankenship said. “I always tell the kids whose dads are on my staff, ‘the coach's kid almost has to be twice as good in the role that he plays just to leave no doubt that the reason he’s playing is because he’s the best player for the job. Andre exceeds that expectation. 

“When he stepped in the room, he made that position group better.”

The Oklahoman’s Super 30:How Choctaw’s Desean Brown went from unknown to one of state’s top pass rushers

Dollar dominates the game with his size, but it’s mainly his intelligence that separates him from the pack. He has a 4.12 grade-point average and an ACT score of 30, both of which are above average. 

“His intelligence was something that was so impressive, just his football IQ,” Blankenship said. “He learned our system so quickly and immediately made an impact. He’s a heck of a player.”

Dollar's intelligence led to many schools such as Stanford, Virginia Tech, NC State, Purdue, Oregon and many others to offer him. Dollar's decision came down to his three wants.

1. An excellent Physics program.

2. A great coaching staff.

3. Being an asset in the offense. 

Oregon offered all three along with uniforms that Dollar has loved since he was a kid.

There was also another benefit.

“I was watching film with them on Zoom and it’s almost identical to what we run here,” Dollar said. “That’s all I need.”

Looking back on his life, Dollar is appreciative of having his father push him to be the athlete he is now. Sam set everything up and Dollar executed.

“He’s been a football coach for my whole life so I was always at the field, watching practices," Dollar said. "So I’ve always been around football. I’ve loved the game, I‘ve always had a football in my hand growing up, we always played it in the backyard. Just over time, you do things for so long you become good at it.”

Mustang's Andre Dollar is No. 10 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list of the state’s top high school recruits in the 2022 class.

The Oklahoman’s 2022 Super 30

Name: Andre Dollar | School: Mustang

Super 30 ranking: No. 10

Height: 6-foot-6 | Weight: 231 pounds

Pos.: Tight End | Committed to: Oregon

More:A look at The Oklahoman's 2022 Super 30 high school football recruiting series

About the series

The Oklahoman’s Super 30 feature series will spotlight each high school football player on the Super 30 recruit rankings for the 2022 class. The series continued Sunday with No. 10, Mustang's Andre Dollar and No. 9 Beggs' CJ Brown. See No. 8 on the list in Sunday’s edition of The Oklahoman. Here are the last five players featured:

No. 13: Cade McConnell, OL, Choctaw

No. 12: Gabe Brown, LB, Stillwater 

No. 11: Desean Brown, DE, Choctaw

No. 10: Andre Dollar, TE, Mustang

No. 9: CJ Brown, RB, Beggs