Christian commissioned me to write an introductory piece for ISD on the 2015 talent in Texas. No problem.
Because of the expedience with which the University of Texas is recruiting, I’m quite familiar with this group already. Now, keeping in mind this class still has two years of high school left, this is nowhere near a complete list of potential Notre Dame targets, but it is the list of kids the state is currently buzzing about.
2015 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for talent, more so than its two predecessors, though maybe not as much as the 2012 class that featured names like Mario Edwards, Jonathan Gray, Malcom Brown, Trey Williams, Thomas Johnson and Kendall Sanders.
We’ll start with quarterback, to no do so would be me not living up to the media’s mouth-breathing reputation, and we can’t have that.
Please note the links should be up to date and feature offers and highlights from InsideTexas.com so feel free to take a look.
It’s not the deepest year in Texas, but it’s not shallow either, plus others will emerge. If I was Notre Dame I’d bypass Texas this year and look to a loaded California, though if it’s ROI you’re after that’s not something I would prescribe often.
Quinten Dormady, Boerne High (Boerne, TX): Surprisingly Dormady has yet to receive his first offer, but that’s only a matter of time, especially when you have a spread skill set in a spread region. Regional schools that will likely show interest are Texas Tech and Baylor, but I’m not sure if he’ll be a national target.
Kyler Murray (pictured), Allen (Allen, TX): Murray’s the best passer in the class, but the problem is he’s under 6-0 and slight of build. Not only is he refined as a passer for being so youthful (father Kevin played at A&M and is a quarterback coach in the Dallas area), but he’s also exceptionally quick when he decides to tuck it. He could feature in the slot if signal caller doesn’t work. As an Aggie legacy, A&M fans are confident Murray will end up in College Station. They’re also confident Johnny Manziel didn’t profit from his signature and is simply the victim of a collaborative conspiracy triangulated between Texas, Alabama and ESPN. So there’s that.
Jarrett Stidham, Stephenville (Stephenville, TX): Stidham is sometimes listed as an ‘athlete’ but that’s merely a function of only attempting three passes last year in a back-up role. If there’s one thing you should know about Stephenville High School, it’s that if you’re their starting quarterback you’re going to play college ball somewhere. Last year as a sophomore Stidham had to sit behind Texas State signee Tyler Jones. Despite that, Stidham has picked up offers from Texas, A&M, Baylor, Texas Tech and Tennessee. One thing to note is Baylor is coached by former Stephenville head coach, Art Briles. Another thing to note; even though Stidham is legitimately 6-3, he has the same release point as Danny DeVito playing disc golf. That always irks me (unless the quarterback in question leads Texas to a national championship).
Chason Virgil, West Mesquite (Mesquite, TX): Virgil’s the owner of a pretty classic over the top delivery, and usually has nice velocity on it, but his accuracy is lacking at times. I talked to Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris briefly about Virgil and he thinks there are some similarities between Tahj Boyd and Virgil. I wouldn’t go that far, Boyd’s a Donovan McNabb analog, but there is a dual threat aspect to Virgil’s game. Baylor and A&M are in the mix, as is Texas.
Now we’re talking. Just as the 2014 Texas defensive back class is loaded, so too is the 2015 running back group. There’s every type of skill you’re looking for; bruisers, speedsters and those that mix both.
Rodney Anderson, Katy High (Katy, TX): Anderson recently caught many by surprise, including yours truly, by committing to Texas A&M. He could play tailback or even play the slot, even in the future at 215 pounds. He’s started for the well-oiled machine that is Katy football since his freshman year.
Jay Bradford, Splendora (Splendora, TX): Bradford won state in May in both the long jump (23-11.5”!) and the 100 meters (10.49) in Class 3A, or Texas’ middle sized schools. These are impressive feats for a 6-0 190 pound sophomore running back. Bradford will fill out and become an explosive 205 pound three down runner. A curious development just occurred with Bradford on Saturday night when he tried to commit to A&M and they wouldn’t accept it. They want to see how their 2014 numbers shake out at the position first. This should open the door for Texas, or possibly another school. A little glimpse of Aggie Aggie-ing things up is Peter Jinkens, the future three year starter for Texas at outside linebacker. They told him his offer wasn’t committable, and he ran to Mack Brown and Will Muschamp’s welcoming arms.
Patrick Carr, The Woodlands (The Woodlands, TX): Though he’s a bit undersized, Carr is able to run between the tackles thanks to uncanny vision, balance and the ability to make himself even smaller. No offers yet, but they’ll come. He could also feature as a returner on special teams.
Tyreik Gray, Episcopal (Bellaire, TX): I’m not overly familiar with Gray, but with Texas and A&M battling it out for many of the other backs, he’s ripe for poaching. Not to be ‘generic comparison guy,’ but Gray’s a lean slasher that functions well out of the backfield. He kind of reminds me of Cierre Wood in that regard. By the way, we’re happy to have Wood here in Houston. Hopefully he makes the roster.
JaMycal Hasty, Longview (Longview, TX): Hasty’s viewed as an Aggie lean right now, but UT recently offered and is looking to get into the mix. He’s part of a larger group of players that are currently stating they’d like to play together. Those players include Malik Jefferson, Daylon Mack, Larry Pryor and Justin Dunning. All five will be profiled in the defensive follow up. Texas isn’t in love with Hasty, and truth be told, neither am I, but UT does covet an all purpose back in the class, and is very high on the four defensive players named. Part of me wants him to try to commit to the Aggies now, just to see them respond to him like they did with Bradford.
Soso Jamabo, Plano West (Plano, TX): Jamabo’s a big back in the 6-2, 195 pound range. He’s fluid in his hips for a player his size and runs with a smooth gait. He was originally considered a Texas lean, but I haven’t heard much from him recently. Ohio State has offered.
Jordan Stevenson, South Oak Cliff (Dallas, TX): Welcome to recruiting in South Dallas. Stevenson just left famed Skyline high school for nearby South Oak Cliff, or SOC for short. This will become a bit of a local story as SOC’s coaching staff is comprised of former Skyline coaches. As for his skill set, Stevenson is a powerfully built and exceptionally fast back who is just as good horizontally as he is vertically. Speed kills.
Chris Warren III, Rockwall High (Rockwall, TX): The name should sound familiar as his father played at a high level for the Seahawks and Cowboys. If his dad, Chris, was a big back, Warren III is a huge back, already at 6-2, 225 pounds. Many envision him as a linebacker or defensive end, but for now schools are selling him on running back. If Texas stays the course here, he’ll likely end up in Austin.
Rawleigh Williams III, Bishop Lynch (Dallas, TX): I’m a big fan of the Ole Miss commit. He’s a traditional north/south back with good feet and balance, and the innate abilities many backs are lacking. I’m not sure how firm he is with the Rebels. They were his first offer and after Texas and A&M passed he jumped on it.
Not a lot of names making the rounds yet, but the ones that are have some special abilities.
John Humphrey, Clear Falls (League City, TX): Humphrey is slight of build, not unlike KD Cannon at the same time in his development. Also, like Cannon, Humphrey is very explosive. He’s still raw but certainly has the look of a playmaker on the next level. Bulking up and being able to beat press will be key for Humphrey.
DaMarkus Lodge, Cedar Hill (Cedar Hill, TX): Lodge may be the best all around receiver in the class. He’s the full accompaniment of nuance and ability with an excellent frame to boot. He’s from loaded Cedar Hill High School where his coach, Joey McGuire, tells me he could be the best receiver he’s ever had. High praise considering Cedar Hill produced 2013 signees Laquvionte Gonzalez (Yes, that’s a real name, A&M) and Quincy Adeboyejo (Ole Miss).
Chad President, Temple (Temple, TX): With Temple in the shadows of Waco, President wasted little time jumping on his Baylor offer. With Art Briles’ recent success at the position I can’t say I blame him. President will likely start at quarterback the next two years, but his highest upside is at receiver.
James Proche, Prime Prep Academy (Dallas, TX): Pain is what happens when you go into a James Proche handshake half-cocked. I learned the hard way, but with so many people lacking the basic skill of a man’s greeting, I gave him a five when even a ten wouldn’t have been enough. Proche is the ideal slot receiver; exceptionally quick, sure and very strong hands (at least his right hand is, I didn’t shake his left) and a very sturdy build capable of withstanding punishment over the middle of the field. He’s a tremendous prospect. His only real downside is that he attends Deion Sanders’ Prime Prep, the worst thing to come out of Dallas since I-35 crossed into Oklahoma.
Kemah Siverand, Cypress Ridge (Houston, TX): Siverand’s an electric and wiry athlete with long arms and good, but not great, hands. He splits defenses routinely thanks to great explosiveness and has the type of frame that will fill out terrifically. He’s from the Robbie Rhodes phyla that also birthed KD Cannon. He’s a true field stretcher. I think his parents want him to stay close to home. This one is too close to call between Texas and A&M.
Jordan Davis, Clear Lake (Houston, TX): Davis has already been committed to childhood favorite Florida State, but now finds himself pledged to the tight end graveyard that is the Kevin Sumlin offense at Texas A&M. He’s a big, athletic kid that projects to playing outside before having the ability to line up attached. When I think of Notre Dame tight ends, Davis doesn’t come to mind, but that’s simply because I have yet to see his in-line blocking.
Bobby Evans, Allen (Allen, TX): Listing Evans is almost a waste of time, but perhaps Notre Dame shows interest at some point. Evans’ father played basketball at OU and his brother, Tay, is a 2014 linebacker who recently committed to the Sooners. Evans is the opposite of Davis. He’s a fabulous blocker. So good and sizable he may end up at tackle one day (like former Longhorn and Steeler Tony Hills), but I’ve seen little evidence of him as a credible receiver, though he is a good athlete.
Since offensive linemen typically take the longest time to develop physically and athletically, it’s rare to find this many high caliber players this early in the process. I expect plenty more to emerge.
Conner Dyer, Horn (Mesquite, TX): Dyer’s gaining a lot of buzz in the region, though UT has yet to really get involved, something I assume will change shortly. No other lineman in Dallas-Fort Worth has been as highly touted to me from sources I trust than Dyer. He’s big and moves very well. He appears to stay flat and does a good job of moving his feet after he engages defenders. For a high school sophomore it’s surprising to see how comfortable he is cut blocking. I’m a fan. Current offers include A&M, Stanford, Cal and TCU.
Trevor Elbert, Rockwall-Heath (Rockwall, TX): Currently Elbert has Alabama and A&M as his top two. Both have offered the player that could end up at tackle or guard. I don’t know that he’s athletic enough for left tackle, but right tackle is not out of the question. Texas is recruiting him as a tackle. It’s important to note that two of his former teammates signed with A&M last year.
Aaron Garza, Sherman (Sherman, TX): Garza is an interior lineman all the way due to lack of length. He closed his recruitment down when he chose Texas back in the spring at UT’s inaugural Sophomore Day.
Joshua Jones, Fort Bend Bush (Richmond, TX): If you’re familiar with Jovan Pruitt (OT, Dallas Bishop Dunne) then that gives you a baseline understanding of Jones. He’s a large, athletic and raw prospect. If he gets the technical parts of the game down he’s a high upside player.
Connor Lanfear, Hays (Buda, TX): As of now Lanfear projects to have the athleticism necessary for left tackle, but whether he can play there depends on him keeping his feet while adding needed weight. He’s currently hovering around 270. Lanfear committed to Texas in early June.
Zach Rogers, Hebron (Carrollton, TX): Rogers is a mauling guard who attends the same school as 2014 safety Jamal Adams. He moves very well and if he was taller he’d get looks at tackle, but a 6-3 guard isn’t going to cut it. Rogers committed to Arkansas in what caught many by surprise. Most had him pegged for Oklahoma, but you can’t blame a lineman for wanting to play for Bret Bielema.
Tristan "Maea" Teuhema, Keller High (Keller, TX): Texas has produced some quality offensive linemen over the years. Teuhema may be the best of recent vintage. He’s a legitimate 6-5, 330 pounds, but it’s hard to believe when you see him move. Despite all that girth, it’s very likely he can play right tackle on the next level. He plays with the mean streak you want to see from somebody with his size. He and his 2014 brother, defensive end Sione, committed to Texas at the end of May.
Patrick Vahe, Trinity (Euless, TX): Vahe is the Teuhema’s “little” cousin. He’s generously listed at 6-3 290, but is probably 6-2 270. It doesn’t matter, like Maea, Patrick plays with a nearly unparalleled mean streak. For those of you that followed Joe Montana’s career through the 80’s, you’ll remember Jesse Sapolu. Vahe and Sapolu are eerily similar in their ability to get out of their stance, get flat down the line when pulling and locating defenders in space. Vahe committed to Texas in the last few weeks.
You may think it’s a waste of time to mention players committed to Texas in this write-up, but I don’t. A lot can happen between now and signing day for the Class of 2014, much less 2015. If Mack Brown isn’t coaching Texas in the coming seasons, who knows which players Notre Dame will have a quality chance with.
Hopefully you found this informative. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Christian can send them over and I’ll answer each one to the best of my ability. Since this is already 2600 words, I’ll break it into two parts. Stay tuned for the defensive corollary.