Haltom City, TXHaltom
Wilson had the appearance of a borderline five-star prospect as a junior, but his play this season has taken the borderline out of the equation. At 6-4, 240 pounds, Wilson plays the game with reckless abandon and he’s emerged as the most dominating edge player in the state of Texas. His first step coming off the edge is tremendous and it makes him an impossible one-on-one blocking challenge at the high school level. A sideline-to-sideline player that has the ability to chase down plays in run defense with ease, there’s nothing to dislike about the kid. Through the first month of his senior season, Wilson has been consistently dominant in the pass rush department, including a four-sack/six TFL performance against North Crowley. Even though he’s only been playing football for a few seasons, he’s a difference-making prospect in every sense of the word, as his upside is significant and doesn’t have any real drawbacks. With a lot of kids, you wonder whether they’ve maxed out their physical upside, but Wilson is just now beginning to tap into his.
Plano, TXPlano West
When Jackson Jeffcoat first popped up on the recruiting scene as a true freshman, it was pretty obvious that we were looking at a future star and possible five-star prospect. Fast-forward three years and Jeffcoat is the cream of a 2010 in-state crop than ranks among the best and deepest classes in a decade. At 6-5, 230 pounds, Jeffcoat is almost the picture-perfect football player, as we’re talking about an elite-level athlete on the defensive side of the ball that has a great frame to build on. More than anything, Jeffcoat stands out because his football skill set and IQ are off the charts. He uses his hands extremely well, while setting up offensive linemen as a pass rusher with the savvy of a much older player. Perhaps the only thing he’s truly missing is an elite-level first step, but he’s able to do so much as a player that his “good” first step is more than enough because he brings so much more to the table than a speed rush. Rarely does one find a high school player with the ability to thrive with a sequence of developed pass rush moves, but Jeffcoat can go inside or outside with a variety of moves and his understanding of the importance of leverage almost makes one-on-one battles unfair before they take place.
There might not have been a more explosive big-play weapon at the receiver position in the Metroplex for the 2008 season than Davis. The 6-1, 190-pound receiver tormented defensive backs all season with his ability to get behind defenses in the vertical passing game. One of the things that really stands out with Davis is his ability to make great adjustments on the ball in the air, as well as his ability to catch the ball in traffic and at its highest point. His speed might not be elite, but he’s more than fast enough to be a big weapon at the next level as an inside or outside receiver. In his biggest one-on-one match-up of the 2008 season, Davis took it to DeSoto cornerback Adrian White to the tune of five catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns. I’m not sure that he’s an elite-level athlete in terms of speed and quickness, but he just makes plays … a ton of them.
In a year when so many of the linebackers are tweeners, Jackson is the most sure-fire top-flight linebacker prospect in the state. At 6-2, 215 pounds, Jackson possesses an excellent blend of size, speed, quickness and athletic ability. That athleticism allows him to have sideline-to-sideline range, while also providing some pass rush skills at the same time. He’s also the only linebacker in the state right now that is strong enough at the point of attack that he can take on a blocker properly and still get to the ball and make a play. There’s no ducking around anything with this kid because he plays the game with an attitude. As if he didn’t have enough going for him, he also plays well in space and is comfortable dropping back in pass coverage. Really, there’s nothing not to like. He’s a big-time prospect.
Fort Worth, TXDunbar
At 6-2, 205 pounds, White has the absolute perfect blend of size, speed and raw athleticism. With 4.4 speed and a 40-inch vertical, several college coaches have told me that he’s the closest thing to Roy Williams’ athleticism that they’ve seen in the last 10 years. That we’re even talking about the two with comparisons pretty much says everything you need to know about this kid’s upside. On the field, everything comes very easily for him, as he catches the ball cleanly with his hands and runs as smoothly as you’ll find with a player his size. There was a time when I thought White was the best receiver prospect I’d seen in the state since Williams back in 2000, but I’ve backed off those remarks in recent months for a couple of reasons. First, he’s very raw as a player and it’s going to take some time before he makes a true impact as a receiver because he’s not used to running precise routes or working within a true passing game system. He also has to battle the questions that come from playing in the FWISD. A lot of big-time talent has come out of the district over the years, especially at Dunbar, but rarely do the players seem to pan out in a big way. It might take a few years for White to hit his stride at the next level, but if he can put it all together, he has a chance to be the best player in this class.
In the 14 years that I’ve been covering Texas high school recruiting, I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a player as explosive as Seastrunk. If you’re looking for a player to put pressure on an opposing defense, Seastrunk is your guy because he has the ability to eliminate geometry from the game. The moment that you think you’ve got the perfect angle on him, he’s already gone by you and everyone else on the field. At 5-11, 192 pounds, Seastrunk isn’t going to be a traditional tailback at the next level that can likely handle 20 carriers per game, but if you can find ways to get him one-on-one situations in space, he has the potential to be one of college football’s elite game-changers. More than speed, Seastrunk’s game is about suddenness. His top-end speed is not what separates him from others as much as his burst and explosiveness in his first 10 yards that really makes him dangerous. All the kid needs is a step and he’s gone. Of course, like a lot of kids, Seastrunk is looking to bounce everything to the outside and he’s going to need to really work hard in the weight room at the next level, but if you view this kid as an all-purpose player that can run, catch and return kicks, it’s clear that he has some blinding potential.
Joekel is another one of these 6-6, 280-pound monsters that seems to be popping up all over the place these days in the Lone Star State. He’s a feisty, rough-and-tumble player that likes to scrap through the whistle and he’ll fight to finish off blocks. He’s also got decent feet and has some pass-protection chops.
|4 stars||6'6"||280||Texas A&M|
Galena Park, TXNorth Shore
If you talk with North Shore head coach David Aymond, he’ll tell you that Hopkins has a chance to be as good as any player he’s ever coached, and that’s obviously saying a mouthful. At 6-4, 260 pounds, there’s a lot to like about Hopkins and probably the first thing that jumps out is his raw athleticism. While playing tackle for North Shore, Hopkins showed explosiveness off the snap that allows him to overwhelm interior players, along with the ability to get to the second level and pick off linebackers. Hopkins’ feet allow him to excel in space and with the frame that he possesses, he’s just now starting to tap into his physical ability. When you combine all of that with the fact that he plays with a passionate disposition on the field, there’s not much not to like. When you talk about elite line prospects in the state, Hopkins is most certainly in the short conversation.
Corey Nelson isn’t the biggest kid in the world by a long shot, but if you’re looking for a linebacker prospect that can cover the entire field and plays the game like he’s mad at the world, Nelson’s your guy. At 6-0, 183 pounds, Nelson is obviously undersized at the linebacker position, but moves to the football in the blink of an eye and has the ability to finish like a much bigger player. The biggest thing that you like about Nelson is that the kid is a playmaker more than anything else – it’s what he does. The obvious downside to Nelson is that he’s a bit of a tweener and is going to need to get stronger before he’s truly ready for major college football. At the end of the day, Nelson’s size is an obvious downside, but the bet is that his athleticism and ability to make plays will win out in the day, even if he needs a few years to develop.
Speed and explosiveness. That’s what Jones brings to the table every time he touches the football, and his ability to put pressure on opposing defenses is up there with the elite players at the receiver position in this class. At 6-0, 172 pounds, Collins is physically built like Texas wide receiver Brandon Collins, but he’s got an extra gear that Collins doesn’t have. Jones is a very good leaper that will go up and get the football and the control that he has over his movements make him a smooth looking player. He’s going to be the kind of guy that really excels at the next level in the screen game, on reverses, in the return game and as a vertical deep threat.
As far as impact defensive tackles are concerned, Bible might rank as the quickest and most explosive to come out of the state since 2001. At 6-3, 280 pounds, Bible is lightening quick off the ball and with his combination of physical tools, great pad level and outstanding use of his hands, he’s pretty much able to do whatever he wants in one-on-one situations. When you add up the fact that the kid has some elite physical tools, has a high motor and has all of the intangibles you’re looking for (hard worker, good grades, ect..), there’s just not much to dislike about the guy. He’s an elite prospect.
Ogbuehi has emerged this spring as one of the top up-and-comers on the recruiting scene along the offensive line. At 6-5, 270 pounds, Ogbuehi has the versatility to play four different positions, but his ability to move his feet, make quick slide steps and play with balance/control make him a strong tackle candidate. Ogbuehi probably shouldn’t have been flying under the radar all this time because he played on one of the state’s top lines in 2008. The only real negative with Ogbuehi is in the area of upper-body strength and it’s probably going to take a few years in a college weight program before he’s ready to play at a high level. He’s got all of the physical tools, but I’d like to see him get a little stronger at the point of attack before he moves into the upper tier of this year’s linemen group.
Player he reminds me of: Ray Willis (Florida State - 2000)
|4 stars||6'5"||270||Texas A&M|
Galena Park, TXNorth Shore
College football is becoming more and more about game-breakers – the kind of guys that can score by any means from any spot on the field. That’s exactly what we’re talking about with White, who might be the fastest receiver in the state. Whether he’s returning kicks, catching passes or coming around the corner on reverses, his speed makes him a threat to take it to the house at any time and the kind of pressure that he can put on a defense makes him an incredibly valuable weapon. Also, we’re talking about a football player that can run and not some track kid trying to play receiver. White has incredible ball skills and after-the-catch ability. His upside if as high as anyone in the state.
Missouri City, TXElkins
Matthews is just starting to scratch the surface of just how good he can be. At 6-5, 275 pounds, Matthews has the perfect frame for a tackle prospect at the next level. During his trips to various camps last summer, there was a feeling that he might not rank as a national prospect, but he emerged as the state’s top offensive line prospect after a strong junior season. Although he’s still adding strength, he emerged as a strong run blocker at the point of attack and he’s a guy that can get to the second level to pick off linebackers. His footwork, pad level and balance make him an incredibly developed prospect for his age. I’ve got questions about whether he’s truly athletic enough to play on the left side of the line, but as he continues to grow into his frame, he should be an outstanding college right tackle.
|4 stars||6'5"||275||Texas A&M|
Houston, TXSecond Baptist
At 6-4, 209 pounds, Wood has the physical tools that you dream of with your prototypical pro-style quarterback. Wood has very good arm strength, but that can be found in a lot of places. It’s the moxie that Wood plays with and the natural instincts that he shows on the field that really has people thinking he has a very bright future. Yes, the competition he’s faced thus far leaves a lot to be desired and he has some limitations as an athlete, but he has such great awareness in the pocket, his footwork is so smooth and his ability to put the ball anywhere he wants helps make him the best quarterback prospects in the Lone Star State.
The state of Texas has had a nice recent run of elite-level safety prospects and Dixon certainly belongs in that conversation. Like the two super-safety prospects in 2009, Dixon an extremely physical player that plays the game at a high speed and with violent intentions. At 6-1, 194 pounds, Dixon is a plus-athlete that has the ability to cover the entire field and he’s much more instinctual in coverage than either Craig Loston or Kevin Brent, even if he’s not quite the playmaker that those two were. Like both of those players, Dixon can close like a hawk, especially when he’s running downhill. He’s the best defensive back prospect in the state.
Tyler, TXJohn Tyler
Dorsey’s game as a defensive tackle is all about his first step and quickness off the ball. As a 6-3, 275-pound nose-tackle, Dorsey doesn’t give you a lot of options as an offensive line. You either have to double-team or you’re going to give him opportunities to make plays in the backfield and up-and-down the line of scrimmage. Dorsey does a good job with pad level and uses his hands very well, but he needs to get in the weight room and really work on getting stronger at the point of attack. As an athlete on the move, he has everything you could want because he possesses such quick feet. As his body continues to mature, he has a chance to be a very good college player because you’re either a guy that makes plays or you’re a guy that eats up space. Dorsey’s not ready-made by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s a playmaker and that excites you.
There are a few players each year that you just like because they are flat-out football players and Byndom is one of those guys. At a shade under 6-0, 165 pounds, Byndom needs to get in the weight room before he’s ready to become a major contributor, but he has some natural football skills that you either have or you don’t. His ability to get in and out of his back-peddle, turns his hips and find the football is as good as anyone in the state. Also, don’t let his slight frame fool you because he’s aggressive in run support and isn’t afraid to mix it up with anyone. The bottom line is that you don’t play three years of impact football at a school like Lufkin unless you’re a big-time, legit player. That’s Byndom.
Cedar Park, TXCedar Park
Of the offensive linemen on the top half of the list, the guy that probably brings the most street-fighter attitude to the field is Espinosa. At 6-3, 282 pounds, Espinosa ranks as one of the nation’s top interior line prospects because of his versatility as a player. On one hand, he’s an outstanding run blocker that plays with great leverage and technique, which allows his strength in his core and lower body to overwhelm defenders. On the other hand, this is a kid with really good feet that rarely allows himself to get-off balance and he should develop into a very strong pass blocker at the next level as well. He still needs to add some strength to his upper body, which means he might need a few years to develop, but he has all of the tools needed to be an excellent college player.
Corinth, TXLake Dallas
Williams is a tall, athletic big man that shows great knee bend and the ability to quickly explode out of his stance and handle edge pass rushers in pass protection. If I told you nothing else about Williams, that’s probably enough to rank him as a state top 50 prospect because kid with his size and athleticism simply don’t grow in trees. Now, he’s going to have to live in the weight room moving forward because he still needs to add strength to his frame and learn how to be more physical at the point of attack in the running game, but the kid has a chance to be a fantastic college tackle with some time and nurturing.
Cedar Hill, TXCedar Hill
Of the three in-state linebackers this year that are a little on the lean side, Benson might be the safest bet of them all because of his strength and natural football skills. Instead of ducking or darting around blockers, Benson takes those blocks on, sheds them and makes the play. He’s an instinctual player that has the ability to make plays sideline-to-sideline and his football IQ is off the charts. If he gives up a little athleticism to a guy like Corey Nelson, he makes up for it with physicality.
Sulphur Springs, TXSulphur Springs
This is a young man that has really come a long way in a very short time. As a sophomore, he was a timid player at times that could drift out of a game in one quarter and then show flashes of brilliance in the next. During his junior season, Jackson blossomed into an impact player for the Class 4A state champions, both as a run defender and a ball-hawking defensive back. Even at 6-3, 175 pounds, Jackson is extremely comfortable in man-coverage and he cleanly turns his hips and gets in and out of his breaks. On top of that, he might have the best ball skills of any defensive back in Texas. Also, if you move him over to safety, he can give you as much range from sideline-to-sideline as any defensive back in the state. His weakness right now is in the strength department and he’ll need some time in the weight room before you’re going to want to put him on the field, but his promise as a playmaking defensive back at the next level is as high as anyone in the state.
The fastest-rising offensive lineman in the state is this gigantic 6-7, 290-pound tackle from one of the state’s top programs. There have been two separate occasions this season when I’ve talked with people that have seen Katy in person and they felt like Klinke was the best player/prospect on the field. As a junior, Klinke was a player that played technically sound football, but the lacked a little something, whether it was finishing his blocks, playing stronger at the point of attack or simply not imposing his will on the opponents enough. Well, take all of those criticisms away because he’s a 180-degree turn from that in the middle of his senior season. Klinke has emerged as an impact player for Katy. As he’s started to fill out physically, he’s been able to keep his quick/nimble feet, which allows him to be a factor as a blocker at the second and third levels of the defense. In fact, one college coach told me that he believes that Klinke might be the best player in space among all the top linemen in the state right now. The one area where he must continue to improve is in pass protection and at the point of attack, but if you give this kid two or three years in a weight program, he has a chance to emerge as a top college lineman.
|4 stars||6'7"||290||Texas A&M|
Darius is an interesting prospect, because when you add his size, leaping ability, hands and physical style of play, he can be the most dominating wide receiver in the state. The only downside is that he’s not a quick-twitch athlete and there are some concerns about his top-end speed. Still, the kid has incredible ball skills and when the ball is in the air, there’s no question that he can go up and snag the ball out of the air. In fact, one of the most underrated aspects of his game is his hands. Whether he ends up at receiver or an h-back type of prospect, Terrell’s ball skills make him a threat to be an dynamic offensive weapon.
Just like McKinney’s Zach Lee, when you’re talking about Young, you’re talking about a very solid pro-style quarterback prospect. Like Lee, McKinney doesn’t have the strongest arm in the world , but he throws a nice ball, makes good decisions in the pocket and seems to have a real understanding and feel for what he wants to do on the field. The downside is that Young doesn’t have the big arm that you’d prefer in a perfect world and he’s not much a threat at all to extend plays with his feet. He’s a very good player that brings some nice qualities to the table, but there’s nothing exceptional about him from the physical side of the things.
|4 stars||6'3"||185||Texas Tech|
Shead is somewhat of a tough kid to evaluate because he’s a dominating player at a low level of classification (1A). At 6-2, 210 pounds, Shead is a perfect blend of size, speed and power and he’s used it all to the tune of nearly 8,000 yards and more than 100 touchdowns in his first three seasons at Cayuga. While he’s clearly a man among boys at his current level, there’s no denying that he’s got great feet for a big back and he has the speed and quickness to break runs to the outside and have some success with him. Of all of the backs in the state this year, Shead has the best combination of size and ability and if he’s able to make the huge transition from 1A to major college football, he has a chance to be a standout college performer.
Houston, TXSt. Pius X
Daniels is raw, athletic big man that is going to be making a major leap in competition, but he has the physical tools to be an outstanding physical player. Although he doesn’t have elite-level quickness and speed, he is an above average guy on the move and he’s got a good first step off the ball. He’s also a good player at the point of attack, has good ball awareness and has a high football IQ. When you look at his frame, you can see why everyone would have an interest in the kid. He’s probably a bit of a project, but the kid has a very high ceiling level.
Dallas, TXParish Episcopal School
Previous ranking: 26
Arlington, TXThe Oakridge School
At 6-3, 190 pounds, Apo is a man among boys at his current level of competition, so it’s hard to know exactly how good he is compared to some of his peers that see much tougher weekly competition. That being said, there’s absolutely nothing not to like about this kid. He’s a smooth athlete with good speed that really makes everything look very easy. Perhaps the thing that I love the most about him is his ball skills. Apo does a great job of making adjustments on balls while they are in the air and does a great job of catching the ball away from his body with his hands. Another thing to keep in mind about Apo is that he might not see tough competition each week at Oakridge, he has more than held his own against elite competition at last year’s Nike Camp and various school camps in the last year.
Missouri City, TXHightower
Like Corey Nelson, when you talk about Lewis, you’re talking about a football-playing-sonofagun. Although he’s going to need a few years of development in the weight room before he’s likely ready to make a huge impact at the college level, there’s no question that his ability to cover the field sideline-to-sideline is as good as it gets. Just like Nelson, you have to overlook his frame to a certain degree and focus on the fact that he’s an absolute playmaker that been able to perform an elite level through his junior season. The only apparent downside to the kid is the fact that he is a bit of a tweener in that he has safety size, but plays linebacker. Again, he might need a few years to develop, but he’s too athletic and too good of a player to ignore.
|4 stars||6'1"||205||Oklahoma St.|
Phillips is a player that’s being recruited as a defensive back, but it’s hard not to see his skills as an offensive player and not think that he belongs on that side of the ball. As an athlete, he plays with a lot of quickness and suddenness. He’s such a fluid athlete and with his ability to stop and start in the blink of an eye, defenders have a very tough time at getting their hands around him. His athletic skill also translates very well on the defensive side of the ball because he backpedals in coverage effortlessly and is able to close on the ball quickly because of his outstanding burst out of his cuts. Phillips is also a guy that has a chance to be a sensational return man on special teams. Basically, we’re talking about a do-it-all athlete that has plus-athleticism, speed and quickness that can play in all three phases of the game.
Previous ranking: 27
Loften emerged as one of the top defensive backs in the Lone Star State as a junior. At 5-11, 195 pounds, Loften is a sideline-to-sideline athlete that has knack for making the big play. One of the things that jumps out about Loften is his ball skills and ability to make plays on the ball from his safety position. He’s a very good athlete, but not an elite one, but the bottom line with him is that he’s another one of these guys that just makes plays. He has a natural feel for the game of football and it translates every time he takes the field.
San Antonio, TXMadison
Askew is a big receiver at 6-4, 210 pounds that projects as an H-back at the next level and with his athleticism and ball skills, he has a chance to be a dangerous weapon. Although he struggles to get off the line of scrimmage cleanly at times, he’s leaper that possesses great hands and can snatch it out of the air at its highest point. He is not a quick-twitch guy that brings much suddenness after the catch, but he’s a stronger runner on the move that finishes of his runs. This is a kid with some physical limitations, but his natural football skills give him a chance to potentially be an impact guy in the right situation.
|3 stars||6'4"||213||Texas A&M|
There’s nothing about Stephenson from a physical standpoint that really jumps out at you, but the kid plays big on the field. At 5-10, 175 pounds, there’s no question that Stephenson will need to hit the weight room before he likely makes an impact on the field, but when you look at him on the field, there’s a lot to like. First, the kid is comfortable in his back-peddle, gets in and out of his breaks very smoothly and he’s got fantastic ball skills. Where he’ll struggle is against taller, more physical receivers that edge him in the athleticism department, but where he often makes up for it is with his tenacity on the field. He’s aggressive in run support and isn’t afraid to throw his body into as fray. When he makes a decision on a play, he has very good closing speed that allows him to swallow plays down along the perimeter.
Previous ranking: 43
Franklin is yet another linebacker prospect this year that falls into the tweener category, but the thing you have to love about this kid is that he plays fast and he has a willingness to mix it up, even if he’s not bringing a big stick when he arrives at the football. In terms of sideline-to-sideline ability, Franklin has it and he’s a quick-reaction player that can explode out of one cut. In a lot of ways, he’s like a poor man’s Corey Nelson and they have some of the same question marks. The issue with Franklin is that he has a way to go before he fills out like a college linebacker because he looks and plays like a defensive back, which isn’t automatically a bad thing if he can fill out physically. We might not know how well he translates to the college game until he’s on campus and gets a few years into a weight program. At the end of the day, his ability to cover the field gives him a chance to be a really good player.
Previous ranking: 37
Corinth, TXLake Dallas
I’m very curious to see Franklin’s development at the next level because he’s a very good high school quarterback, but I can’t help but wonder if he can successfully make the next leap. As a passer, he does a good job of making decisions, but he doesn’t have the strongest arm and he can be very stiff in the pocket. As a runner, Franklin is able to make plays with his feet at the high school level, but I’m not sure that his athleticism is going to translate real well in college. That being said, he’s got some natural playmaking skill, so he’s got a shot with some patience, development and coaching.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t always been a guy that thought Rodgers was as good as his offer list might suggest. There’s no question that he’s a very good prospect when you consider his size, athleticism and bloodlines, but for most of the year I’ve been waiting to see a player that’s as good as his resume. Well, low and behold, this kid has gotten there. At 6-2, 185 pounds, Rodgers has really stepped up his game this season, which was highlighted in late September when he effectively shutdown four-star receiver DeAndrew White. With his size, he has the potential to be a player that can muscle up on smaller receivers, while still adjusting smoothly in bump and run. There’s still a level of physicality that he needs to reach before he’ll be an impact player in college, but he’s a versatile kid with a high football IQ and a ton of physical upside.
|3 stars||6'2"||185||Miami (FL)|
Solid across the board. When you watch Richards in action, that’s the first thing you notice about him. He might not be great in anyone area, but he’s good in almost all of them. Good athleticism. Good feet. A good first step. A good frame. Good instincts on the field. All good, but probably not great. The one area where he is great is in the effort department. He’s a high motor kid that really needs to get much stronger so that he can hold up at the point of attack at the next level. Give this kid a couple of years and he has a chance to develop into a very solid college defensive end that can do a little bit of everything for you.
|4 stars||6'4"||245||Texas Tech|
&MIn a lot of ways this is a kid that has a lot in common with Jake Matthews. Great bloodlines? Check. Perfect frame for tackle? Check. Great prospect? Check. The difference between the two is that Washington is probably a much better athlete, but he’s not nearly as developed at this stage of his career. Where Matthews plays with perfect pad level, balance and technique, Washington is playing on his raw, natural physical ability as he continues to learn a game that he has just recently committed to. What you have to love about Washington is that he’s a physical player that can get to the second level, but his natural skills as a pass protector are uncanny. His slide-step out of his stance is effortless and he’s able to pick up the quickest edge rushers because of it. Yes, the kid is a major project because he’s still so new to the game, but he has a great attitude and his ceiling might be higher than any lineman in the state.
White might be the one prospect in the state that I just cannot quite get my hands around. On one hand, the kid looks fantastic on paper. At 5-10, 169 pounds, he’s tested extremely well in a number of combines and whenever I’ve seen him work out, he moves around the field smoothly. In the U.S. Army Combine, he’s been among the truly elite performers in each of the last two years. The issue with White is that he hasn’t always been the guy that you’d hope he’d be when the pads and lights come on. His skill set is outstanding and there’s absolutely no question that he has the ability to be an elite performer. It’ll be interesting to see how much progress he makes during his senior season.
At his best, Williams is one of the most explosive and dynamic offensive weapons in the state. Whether he’s carrying the ball out of the backfield or catching the ball as a receiver, Williams has the ability to break defenders down in one-on-one situations and he’s a strong enough runner that he can run through arm tackles and sloppy tackling. The knock on Williams is consistency, whether it be from play-to-play or game-to-game. There are also some qualification question marks and that has caused his stock to fall a little. As talented as he is, college recruiters want to see more from him, but there’s no question that we’re talking about a kid with a lot of ability and upside.
Thompson is a guy that has emerged as one of my favorites after the U.S. All American combine and he’s emerged as a player that has a very high ceiling at the next level, but it might take him several years to realize his potential. At 6-6, 278 pounds, Thompson has the frame you’re looking for in a potential left tackle, he has great feet and plays with great balance when placed on an edge against pass rushers. Ironically, he’s mostly played on the defensive side of the ball to this point in his career, so he’s going to need some time to develop and add strength, but after two or three seasons, he has a chance to be an outstanding offensive tackle.
Cedar Hill, TXCedar Hill
There’s nothing tricky about Shead’s game. He’s an interior line prospect that thrives in overpowering people in the running game, but there are some questions about his overall athleticism as we try to project him to the next level. The good news is that he is absolutely a powerful player at the point of attack and he moves fairly well for a 315-pound player in space. He’s also got quick feet and will show some promise as a pass protector, but when he’s matched up against quicker players, he can struggle if he can’t get on top of them. If there’s a concern with Shead it might be with his long-term conditioning. At 315 pounds before he enters his senior year in high school, you have no choice but to wonder if he can handle his weight as he moves to the next level.
Previous ranking: 47
Garland, TXNaaman Forest
Harris is a tough guy to grade on junior film because he played in an offense that was built primarily around the running game and a controlled short passing game. At 6-2, 182 pounds, Harris is a long, lean athlete that doesn’t necessarily have sprinter’s speed, but he’s got quick feet and he’ll get a surprising burst out of his cut. He’s also does a great job of using his hands to catch the football and when he’s in traffic, he excels at walling off defenders and still being able to finish off the play. As a sophomore, he averaged nearly 20 yards per catch and was one of the top young playmakers in the Metroplex, so the ability make plays down the field is definitely something he’s capable of doing. When I saw him in the summer before his junior season, you could see a smooth receiver that catches the ball well and possesses the ability to make the tough catch. The question I had was whether there was enough explosiveness in his game to make him a special talent. At this point, the jury is still out on that one.
Gilbert is yet another player that I absolutely fell in love with after seeing him play as a sophomore, but he did not make the kind of progress as a junior that I would have expected. In fact, for a guy that I thought had some serious upside as a quarterback prospect at the collegiate level, he was shockingly mediocre this season. Even if the passing game is a work in progress, Gilbert can be a thrilling open field runner when the ball is in his hands because of his quickness and ability to accelerate out of his cuts, and those traits will cause a lot of people to look at him as a receiver or as a pure athlete. At 6-1, 173 pounds, there are a number of positions on either side of the ball that he could project to because of his athleticism, but I think he’s best-suited for offense because he such a natural playmaker with the ball in his hands. He’ll be an interesting guy to watch this year because if he can develop a little more in the passing game this spring, summer and fall, he might develop into a late-surging quarterback prospect. Regardless, he’s a good enough athlete to play for just about anyone.
|4 stars||6'0"||173||Oklahoma St.|
If you believe true center prospects with very a great frame and above average feet is worth a lot out of principle, then this is probably a too low of a spot. There’s no doubt that at 6-5, 280 pounds, Woods might be the best pure center prospect in the state of Texas. With his quick first-step and comfort I space, Woods is an effective player at the second level of the defense. Woods might actually be suited for zone blocking schemes because of his strengths as a player. If there’s an area of his game that needs developing, it’s his play at the point of attack. Too often he doesn’t get the push at the line of scrimmage that you’d like to see, but a lot of that can be fixed with some work in the weight room and better pad level.
The first thing you have to remind yourself with Hicks is that we’re talking about a guy that’s very raw and has a ton of upside. At 6-3, 220 pounds, Hicks is a undeveloped, quick-twitched athlete that college coaches are going to envision rushing the passer at the next level. As an athlete, has the ability to chase plays up and down the line of scrimmage and his quickness of the ball really does give him a chance to be an above-average pass rusher off the edge. On the other hand, Hicks really needs to get in the weight room, add some muscle and improve at the point of attack. Another issue that Hicks has to continue to improve on is his consistency. As talented as he is, he often can disappear for stretches during games and he can go from looking like a big-time player on one play to an invisible guy on another. That being said, there’s no question that his versatility is a huge asset and he could just easily evolve into a pass-catching tight end at the next level. In fact, his physicality in the running game on offense is much more impressive that the physicality he sometimes shows on defense at the point of attack. Keep an eye on Hicks for the next few months because he could be a guy that sees his stock soar during the spring.
|3 stars||6'4"||235||Texas A&M|
Walker is a guy that a lot of people really believed would emerge as one of the elite players in this class after a strong sophomore debut on the Houston high school scene, but he didn’t take the next step as a junior and seemed to flatten out a little as a prospect at times. He absolutely is an above-average athlete that that can throw the ball well on the move and he’s a great kid that oozes intangibles, which is why his uneven play last year was hard to figure out. I’m kind of in a wait-and-see position with Walker, as I want to see him this summer and in the fall before having a hard opinion of him.
As far as pro-pass prospects are concerned, Lee’s name is right at the top of all discussions. At 6-4, 190 pounds, Lee can sling the football around with the best of them and while he might not have quite the arm strength that some of his peers nationally might have, he doe s a great job with timing routes and can put the football just about anywhere he wants to on the field. On the downside, Lee’s not a guy that’s going to make a lot of plays with his feet, but he’s not exactly a stiff in the pocket either. Overall, he’s a kid that you end up liking more and more as you see more of him. His mechanics are very sound and he just seems to have a feel for the game. One of the only downsides to Lee is his commitment to baseball. Some scouts have said he’s a pro prospect in that sport and at the very least, he’s made it clear that he plans to play both sports at the next level.
Previous ranking: 55
When Sorenson is really cooking, he’s a very impressive player/prospect. At 6-3, 190 pounds, Sorenson is a lefty with a strong arm and he can make all of the throws. Actually, if you’re going off of arm strength and velocity, Sorenson looks as impressive at times as any in the state. Also, although he’s been mostly a pocket passer during his career, he throws a nice ball on the move. As an athlete, he’s not a guy that’s going to make a lot of plays with his feet, but he has some mobility and is probably a little bit underrated in that aspect. Overall, the biggest issue with Sorenson is consistency. There have been times when I have seen him and loved him and there have been other times when I’ve been left wanting a little more from him. Right now, I’m somewhere in the middle.
|3 stars||6'3"||200||Oklahoma St.|
Round Rock, TXWestwood
One of the in-state skill players that has really been flying under the radar is Collins, who excels as a runner, receiver and return man. At 6-0, 187 pounds, Collins has good speed, but he’s a guy that’s quicker than he is fast, but with his ability to create separation out of his first cut, he can be a very explosive player. His top asset as a player is definitely his versatility, as he’s probably a better receiver out of the backfield than he is a true running back prospect, which will likely tempt some teams to move him full-time to receiver. Regardless, his ability to contribute as an offensive skill guy in a variety of ways makes him an interesting prospect, even if he might not have a natural position.
Guy is a tough guy to figure out because he really looked like two different players in the last two years. As a sophomore nose-tackle, he showed an incredible first step and was an extremely active player that was able to make plays up and down the line within the tackle box. However, when you look at his junior film he’s not quite as explosive off the ball and he wasn’t quite as active. He spent a lot more time this season hand-fighting with offensive linemen than I would like to see and he doesn’t always get great pad level and those spin moves that work off a double teams in high school will get you buried into the ground at the next level. He has to learn how to get the kind of level that’s going to allow him to hold his point or he’s going to be a very limited player. He’s a high-motor guy that’s simply going to have find the right combination of size that allows him to hold up against strong one-on-one blockers or double teams at the next level, while not robbing him of his quickness. As it is, Guy’s build is compact and he has some bad weight, but if he can commit himself to the weight room and maximizing his upside, he could end up being quite a college nose-tackle.
San Antonio, TXMadison
There’s not a lot of “wow factor” with Saunders, but he’s a very good football player and he has all of the physical numbers needed to excel at the next level. The 6-1, 195-pound Saunders is at his best when he’s playing downhill and even though he doesn’t have great speed or suddenness, he plays sideline to sideline. I still have some questions about how natural/comfortable he is playing in a back-peddle and he could emerge as a linebacker in the long-term. At this point, he’s a very good athlete that is a very good player. He’s not great… yet, just very good. He’s certainly a player that could rise with a strong senior season.
|3 stars||6'1"||200||Oklahoma St.|
Cedar Park, TXCedar Park
If you’re looking for a sleeper to emerge as a possible top 25 prospect before the end of the year, keep an eye on Onwukaife. At 6-3, 220 pounds, Onwukaife has the athleticism and raw ability to become a very good pass rusher at the next level. Onwukaife is a hard worker in the weight room, but he’s an inexperienced player that hasn’t had a ton of reps and is still learning who he is as a player, as he often plays with a style more suited for interior line play. Still, this is a kid that has always performed exceptionally well in combine settings, so you know the kid is an athlete. He’s going to need some time to develop, but he can become a front-line player for a major college program if he lands in the right spot.
|3 stars||6'3"||220||Florida St.|
Galena Park, TXNorth Shore
Previous ranking: 55
Arlington, TXJuan Seguin
Previous ranking: 56
Houston, TXKlein Forest
Previous ranking: 64
Moore is another player that has emerged this spring as a legit Division I prospect. At 6-6, 223 pounds, Moore possesses a nice combination of size and athleticism, but he’s a bit of a tweener at this stage of his development and he’ll need a few years before he’s ready to play. As a defensive end, I’m not sure he has the burst, first step or flexibility to play off the edge, which means that he might need to add quite a bit of weight to his frame so that he can move side as an end in a 3-4 or a defensive tackle in a 4-3.
|3 stars||6'6"||227||Texas A&M|
Previous ranking: 79
Previous ranking: 75
Orange, TXWest Orange-Stark
If you believe that good things that come in small packages, then you’re going to love Franks, who might be small in stature, but he’s a big player on the field. At 5-9, 172 pounds, Franks will almost certainly be viewed as an offensive prospect at the next level because he’s at his best when the ball is in his hands, although he’s a feisty defensive player that isn’t afraid to mix it up. The issue for him is obviously going to be his size and he’s not going to be everyone’s cup of team. But, the kid has great feet, quickness, speed and ball skills, and if lands in the right system, he’s got a chance to be a playmaking receiver for someone as a slot receiver. At the very least, he should be a special teams standout from the get-go.
Maeweather is another high ceiling/low basement prospects. On one hand, he has almost as much physical upside as any linebacker in the state. We’re talking about a kid that is a legit 6-2, 205 pounds and has the kind of quick-twitch muscles that allow him to play with some explosiveness. The downside is that Maeweather is going to need a lot of coaching and he could need a few years of playing in a college system before he’s ready to at a big-time level. Of course, his physical talent is suck that he could be an early performer if he lands with a coach that uses Maeweather as a pure situational player. Overall, he’s a prospect to keep an eye on.
|3 stars||6'2"||203||Oklahoma St.|
If you simply look at Patterson’s highlight film, you’d rank him with the state’s top players at the linebacker position. At 6-0, 210 pounds, Patterson has the ability to play sideline-to-sideline and there’s certainly a little bit of a wow factor, but when you take a longer look at Patterson, you’ll see a player that has some real issues with consistency from play to play, and game to game. The truth is that he flat out disappears for long stretches of games, which is really frustrating to watch because you know that he has the ability to take over a game. Patterson’s biggest strength is that he’s got the athleticism to really make a name for himself, but he’s going to need some time to develop. He might be two or three years away from being an impact performer, but if he dedicates himself, he has a high upside.
|3 stars||6'0"||210||Texas A&M|
Corpus Christi, TXCarroll
We’ve seen this one before. The 6-2, 169-pound McCoy isn’t the biggest guy in the world or the best athlete, but the kid knows what he’s doing when he’s throwing the football. Like his older brother, Case won’t be coming into college with a ton of arm strength, but he’s a hard worker in the weight room and he’ll live and die in the film room. The one thing that he does very well is throw accurate passes, whether he’s on the move or not. One area where he lags behind Colt is in the athlete department, which means that he will not be the same kind of threat in the running game, although he does have some of the same type of scrambling skills. The thing I love the most about Case is that football is everything to McCoy, probably even more so than Colt and he will work his way into being a good college quarterback.
Hayes is guy that has a great combination of size and athleticism. At 6-1, 175 pounds, Hayes has the ability to play some corner, but he probably projects as a better safety at the next level because he has the range to cover the entire field and his ball skills could make him one heck of a ball-hawk in the middle of the field. He’ll need to get in the weight room and he’ll need to be coached up a little, but he’s another very talented defensive back in this class that has a very high ceiling.
Pilot Point, TXPilot Point Selz
The first time I saw Feldt as a sophomore I was worried that he wouldn’t be athletic enough to emerge as a front-line college prospect, but he really came a long way physically during the last year and he’s suddenly emerged as one of the top power interior line prospects in the state. At 6-5, 290 pounds, Feldt doesn’t have the quickness, knee-bend or feet to play tackle at the next level, but he’s made some real improvements in that area to give me hope that he’ll fine in that department as he makes the moves inside. As a run blocker, he’s just a punishing player at point of attack. If he can get his body into a defender, he has the ability to completely uproot that player from the ground. The other thing that I really like about him is that he plays the game with some real nastiness. If he can keep his weight under control and improve his pass protection skill, he’s got a chance to be a very good player. He’s another guy that I think could easily play his way into four-star status this season.
Cedar Hill, TXCedar Hill
Previous ranking: 66
|2 stars||5'8"||205||N'western St.|
Alief, TXAlief Taylor
There’s nothing terribly flashy about Cotton’s game as a defensive tackle, but at 6-4, 280 pounds, he provides an excellent dose of size, athleticism and ability. Cotton has above-average quickness and plays with excellent pad level. He also does a very good job of taking on double team blocks and as he adds more size/strength, he should be an excellent nose-guard prospect. He also does a nice job of making plays up and down the line of scrimmage between the hash marks. The only thing that Cotton really lacks is added physical development and while it might take him a few years to emerge as significant contributor, he has the skill set to be a very good college defensive lineman.
Previous ranking: 72
Previous ranking: 73
There’s nothing flashy about Jones and his ability as a football player, but there is something to be said for him being a true-blue, every-down running back that can handle 20+ carries a game and he might be the best in the state from that perspective. As a runner, Jones doesn’t really have an extra gear, but he’s a beast between the tackles and his ability to shed defenders makes him incredibly tough to bring to the ground. Of course, the big question is whether he has the speed and quickness needed to truly be a front-line running back at the next level. As good as he is between the tackles, he’s not a home-run threat and that limits some of his value as a prospect.
|4 stars||5'11"||210||Texas A&M|
I’ve kind of gone back and fourth on Powell over the course of the last few months. There have been times when I’ve watched Powell and been completely indifferent on him, but then I’ll see a clip where he’ll take a slip screen 70 yards for a touchdown and his upside becomes so obvious. At 6-1, 175 pounds, Powell has the physical tools – he’s fast enough, quick enough and good enough to make plays. When he starts to consistently push himself towards playing at a consistent high level, he’s got a chance to emerge as a very good receiver, but I think he might be a few years away from being there.
Although Muncie is listed as a safety prospect in the Rivals database, he looks like a linebacker at the next level all the way to me. At 6-3, 210 pounds, Muncie is an above-average athlete that shows nice range and striking ability. He’s not nearly as comfortable in coverage and struggles at times with his drops. He’ll need to get in the weight room and get used to playing inside the box, but he’s a very good athlete that has some upside.
Houston, TXCypress Ridge
In a normal year, Johnson might be getting a little more attention because he’s a very good college receiver prospect. At 6-1, 190 pounds, Johnson has a nice frame and he does a really nice job of making plays in a variety of ways. He’s not the most explosive guy in the world, but he flashes some big-play ability. As a route runner, Johnson has been well schooled and he does a great job of hiding his route until the last moment, which allows him to create a lot of separation. There’s not always a lot of wow with Johnson, but the kid has a lot of natural skill as a receiver that some of the more physically talented players at his position might not possess.
|3 stars||6'2"||190||Oklahoma St.|
Cedar Hill, TXCedar Hill
When you watch Malena on film, he’s not a guy that wows you at all. He’s no the fastest guy, the quickest guy or the most explosive guy, but his production if off the charts good and there’s just no question that the guy is a football playing sonofagun. Malena is a hard runner between the tackles and has quick feet, which allow him to bounce runs to the outside with some success. At his best, Malena is a definition of a grinder, who just keeps plugging along for four quarters and he’ll make some plays along the way. He really is a special high school player. The issue I have is whether he can take it to take his game to the next level and achieve the same amount of success. The jury is still out for me on that one.
|4 stars||5'9"||201||Texas A&M|
The more I watch of Gramling, the more I like him. At 6-6, 300 pounds, Gramling is an interesting guy to me because I probably like his natural pass protection abilities more than I like his power play, which is a strange for a guy with his size. Although I wouldn’t describe him as having great feet, he does have good feet his kind of size and he does a very good job of kicking out with great balance and pad level. He’s going to have trouble with guys that have top-end speed and quickness, but he’s tough to knock of-balance and go through. As a run blocker, he’s a pretty good player at the point of attack, but I’d like to see him finish blocks a little more. I’m not sure that he’s a tackle at the next level, but he can certainly play inside and as he continues to get stronger, he’ll be a player that has a chance to get on the field and become as valuable asset.
|3 stars||6'6"||325||Texas A&M|
At 6-3, 193 pounds, Johnson looks like the definition of a very solid possession-type receiver at the next level. Johnson does a really good job of working all areas of the field and he does a very good job of catching the ball away from his body. Although he’s a strong receiver that can run through tackles he’s not going to be a guy that invents a lot of big plays out of nothing. Instead, he’s going to give you a big receiver that will make the tough catches and move the chains.
|#85||Toney Hurd Jr.||DB|
Missouri City, TXFort Bend Marshall
Hurd is another cornerback that looks great on paper, with the exception of his height, but hasn’t always been a dominating player at the high school level. At 5-9, 183 pounds, Hurd is well put together for a smaller defensive back and he has plus-speed, quickness, strength, athleticism and cover skills. Frankly, the tool belt has almost everything that you’re looking for, but you’d like to see him make more plays and be a little more aggressive on the field.
|3 stars||5'9"||184||Texas A&M|
Fort Worth, TXDunbar
At 6-1, 190 pounds, Sanders is an above average athlete that is likely going to need some time to make the adjustment from high school quarterback/athlete to receiver at the next level. For now, he’s a guy that does a lot of damage on adlib plays out of the pocket. While his speed is solid, he’s not a guy that runs away from the rest of the field and while he’s got some shake and bake in him, it’s not a huge piece of what he does on the field as an athlete. Still, this is a kid that’s got some athleticism, a very good frame and some obvious playmaking ability. He’s just going to be a little bit of a project.
Johnson is an exciting offensive player that is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. As a runner, he has the ability to break down defenders in one-on-one situations because of his ability to cut on the dime and explode out it. While his initial separation is sudden, he seems to not quite have that extra gear that allows him to run away from guys. When he lines up at receiver, he’s shown the ability to catch the ball with his hands away from his body. He’s a bit raw and will need some time to develop, but this is a guy that has some exciting ball skills and he just needs to be worked with a little.
|3 stars||6'2"||182||West Virginia|
McClain has a good combination of size and speed, which could make him a very nice possession receiver at the next level. The biggest question with McClain is whether he can be more than a straight line runner. He has not shown great ability in being able to make something out of nothing or the ability to take the short hitch and turn it into a big play. Still, the kid has sneaky speed and gets open deep more than you’d think. He’s not a perfect prospect, but he has a lot of talent to work with.
Previous ranking: 87
|3 stars||6'3"||290||Texas Tech|
In a year of fantastic receivers in-state, Guinyard is a guy that often gets lost in the shuffle because he doesn’t have great size or speed, but when you look at his production, you have to take a second look. An inside slot receiver that catches the ball extremely well with his hands and is very good in the screen game, Guinyard has a chance to be some quarterback’s dream possession receiver if he falls into the right system. Guinyard is a one-cut runner that doesn’t use a lot of wasted motion. He might not be the fastest straight-line guy, but he’s fast enough and quick enough to make plays. He’s kind of a system receiver, but if lands in the right spot at the next level, he has a chance to be a very productive player.
Here’s what I know and like about Hawkins – I know he can get down the field in the vertical passing game. After averaging 40 yards per catch last season, with almost all of his catches being some sort of go-route, there’s no doubt that the kid has some big-play ability. What I don’t know at this point is what else he can do as a player. At 6-1, 175 pounds, Hawkins looks like a guy that can do some nice things after the catch, but he doesn’t have a lot of experience and he will likely need a few years before he’s ready to be a significant contributor, as he learns a greater variety of routes and learns to run them with more discipline, while also adding some strength to his frame. He’s a very raw prospect, but the kid has a lot of speed and big-play pop. If he shows a little patience in developing, he’s got a chance to emerge as one of the more gifted receivers in the state.
Arlington, TXArlington Lamar
Douglas is coming off an incredible junior campaign that saw him earn Class 5A all-state honors after rolling up 2,000 yards and nearly 30 touchdowns. At 5-11, 175 pounds, Douglas is a very good athlete that might not have the frame needed to be an ever down back at the next level (at least not in the traditional sense), but he’s an explosive, one-cut running back that does a great job of slashing through openings and he could be used in a variety of ways as an offensive performer. In the one game that I saw him in last season, Douglas was feat or famine. While he’s a threat to hit the home run, he’s also a guy that doesn’t break a lot of tackles and he tends to bounce everything to the outside instead of getting up field and taking what’s available to him. If he can get in the weight room and add some muscle without trading away any of his explosiveness, he has a chance to emerge as a serious offensive weapon at the next level. Overall, he’s a little raw, but he’s another back with a very high ceiling.
Flower Mound, TXMarcus
Here’s the deal with Noble – he’s a high effort player that has the frame/size to play at the next level, but there are some athletic limitations that limit his ceiling as a player. At 6-4, 275 pounds, he doesn’t have a great first step, but he’s strong as an ox and holds up very well at the point of attack. His real value comes as a player on the field. While he’s not nearly the athlete that some others in this class are, you’re not going to find anyone that plays harder than this kid and that makes up for a little of what he lacks in the way of quickness and explosion. I’m not sure if he’ll develop into a top-end starter at an elite-level program, but I can see him developing into a solid member of a four-man rotation because his combination of strength/size will make him a steady player against the run. He might not be a guy that’s going to make plays up and down the line of scrimmage, but he definitely has value as a player.
Irving, TXIrving Macarthur School
I think Sims might be one of the best kept secrets in the state. At 6-0, 205 pounds, Sims is a strong, physical runner that actually brings more versatility to the position than you’d expect from a player that runs so hard between the tackles. Where so many backs in this class are always looking to bounce everything to the outside, Sims is a guy that can work between the tackles and he runs with a strong downhill lean. With his strength in the lower body, he has the ability to power through a lot of tackle attempts. Another area where Sims really does a good job is in the screen game as a receiver. While he’s not the most explosive guy on the field, his all-around skill make him a very interesting running back prospect.
San Antonio, TXEast Central
Good interior defensive linemen are worth their weight in gold, which is one of the reasons why Peterson’s stock has taken off this spring. At 6-3, 287 pounds, Peterson doesn’t have elite quickness or physical skill, but he’s a decent athlete that has some upside with some more work in the weight room. Peterson can play a little high at times, but he takes on blocks well, does a good job of using his hands and is a high-effort player. He needs to get stronger and he might be a few seasons away from being a viable front-line player for a major school, but he’s got ability.
From a pure physical standpoint, there might not be a more impressive athlete in the state that projects to the tight end position. At 6-5, 260 pounds, Lee is an exceptional athlete and the ball skills that he’s shown at seven-on-seven events and in small doses during his junior season are extremely impressive. At this point, Lee is very raw and he’s going to need to commit himself in the weight room and towards refining his skill, but the physical ability is there to be a big-time player at the next level. The only thing keeping Lee from being recruited by all of the big boys is some academic concern.
At 5-11, 170 pounds, Lazard is a do-it-all athlete that either projects as a receiver at the next level. As a skill player on offense, Larard is a smooth and slippery player with the ball in his hands. While he has very good feet and quickness, he’s not a guy that creates separation with his speed, which makes me wonder about his ceiling and whether there’s a definite cap on it. Speed and raw explosiveness out of the way, he’s a tough guy to get a handle on in the open field and he has some big-play potential, especially as a possible return man on special teams. With a few years to develop, he could end up being a very good inside receiver.
Orange, TXWest Orange-Stark
Haynes is yet another defensive back that looks terrific on paper, but sometimes leaves you wanting a little more of film. At a shade over 6-0, 181 pounds, Haynes is one of the fastest players in the state (4.53 at the US Army Combine) and his time in the short-shuttle (4.23) might not be elite, but it’s really good. So, we’re talking about a guy with really nice size, great speed and good quicks. As a player on the field, Haynes is a good player, but he hasn’t been a difference maker at this point in his development. He’s got very good downhill speed that allows him to close at the rate his speed would suggest that he should, but he can disappear from the action at times. That being said, the upside is obvious and if he can commit himself to getting stronger, he’s got a real shot at safety. Also, expect him to stay on the defensive side of the ball because he doesn’t seem like as he’s as natural at receiver. He’s a bit of a straight line runner and doesn’t have a lot of shake and bake in him after the catch game.
You have to love those raw, athletic 6-4, 210-pound pass rush prospects that East Texas can produce. When you look at Lee there’s a couple of things you notice right away. Although he’s not really a quick-twitch, explosive athlete, he is an above-average athlete and he seems to be dripping with potential. He’s an obvious candidate to live in the weight room because he’ll need to continue to get stronger before he’s truly a guy that can play with his hand off the ground, but he has the frame to carry a lot more weight without giving up a lot in the way of being an athlete. Lee can make a “wow” play once a game that will remind you that he’s a raw, undeveloped prospect, but he’s one that might have the ability to hit it big in a few seasons because he can be a player that plays up and down the line of scrimmage.