LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — When Tony Fields II steps back onto the field at Desert Pines High School, the memories are there to greet him.
"My family used to sit right in the middle," he said, pointing to the stands. "My dad had a big poster that was made up of me catching a ball so it was pretty nice."
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During his tenure at Desert Pines, fans saw a lot of Fields.
Voted the team's captain and MVP, Fields played both sides of the ball, as a wide receiver and linebacker.
"Everything about football, he loves," said Tico Rodriguez, head coach for Desert Pines High School.
"He loves the parts that people don't like - the training, the running, the watching film - and when you see that in a young player, you know you have somebody very special."
Rodriguez said Fields' energy and passion were infectious, especially when it mattered the most, his final game his senior season - the state championship, something the team had lost in devastating fashion two years before.
At the half, they found themselves up by just six.
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"I'm stressed out and Tony just looks at me and says, 'We got this,'" remembered Rodriquez.
Fields told the young QB to get him the ball. And he did.
"We opened it up from there," Fields said. "Then once they started rallying, trying to cover me, that's when our other guys opened up. That's how football works."
You could say Fields' plan worked too.
"We ended up winning...by a lot," Fields said, with a laugh.
The final score was 39-6.
Fields went on to play linebacker for the Arizona Wildcats, named a Freshman All-American. But last season, the pandemic threatened to sideline college football, the Pac 12 being one of the first conferences to consider canceling the season.
"I wanted to play football this year so I had to transfer out to West Virginia. The coach that actually recruited me out to Arizona was the one that reached out to me to West Virginia so it was a great mutual decision to go out there and finish my senior season," he said.
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Fields bookended his college career with honors, being named the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year and top linebacker at the senior bowl. A solid pro day upped his draft projections. The subscript to Fields' story is a fiery drive, relentless work ethic and deep love for the game.
Rodriquez said he's an inspiration to kids on the eastside.
"They see the blueprint," Rodriquez said. "It's not going to be easy and he tells them that. But he gives them hope that if they work hard and they take care of their classroom and do all the little things, they all add up to having this opportunity for a life-changing experience, being drafted into the NFL."
The role of role model is one Fields embraces wholeheartedly. And no matter where Fields lands in the NFL, home will always be Las Vegas.
"I want to give back. Like, I want to come back and be able to help out, not only the Desert Pines kids but all the youth eventually. That's what I want to do," said Fields.