How does a boy overcome the fact that his parents knowingly–if lovingly–named him after a potato? Simple. He embraces that name, Russet, which is also his school’s sports mascot, and he becomes the best football player his community has ever seen. Russ Blevins is 18 years old, the oldest football player in the town of Shelley, Idaho, in 1955.
His father is the celebrate sheriff of the county, Arch Blevins. By his senior year of high school, Russ Blevins has allowed his prowess on the gridiron to go to his head, and it is an easy step from there to forget how he got so successful. Although still basically a kind person, when one begins to forget the “little people” around him, those who adore him most, the fall he is destined for is sure to be great. In the end, will the values Russ learned as a boy sustain him through the trauma of realizing he is just a human, after all?