Moments in time from yesterday’s Nike Regional Opening in Houston, TX… pic.twitter.com/APEnkseEDj
— Super K (@SuperK_TFB) February 26, 2018
THE OPENING | WRAP UP BY POSITION
– Defensive Line
It was a rainy and dreary Sunday down in Houston this past weekend; however, as they say, “the show must go on.” Some of the top prospects in Texas competed against each other in the pouring rain for hours. Fun stuff.
The one-on-one OL vs DL drills favor the DL as they can be more aggressive than the OL. Still with the weather being the way it was, it made things a bit more interesting.
2019 DE Marcus Stripling – Mayde Creek (Houston, TX)
Marcus Stripling was unstoppable… well, he was stopped once, when he slipped on the wet turf. Stripling showed his strength and quickness by making easy work of some good OL. He played inside and outside of the tackle and beat everybody, including 4-star OT Andrew Coker twice.
Stripling will be visiting OU on April 15th. He told me he will be coming back to Texas in two weeks to have one-on-one visits with the staff and watch spring practice.
Here is each one of Stripling’s reps.
2019 DE Peter Mpagi – George Ranch (Richmond, TX): Mpagi has a great burst with strength behind his hands. He was on a Texas visit last weekend where Texas expressed a lot of interest in him.
2019 DE Nelson Ceaser – Ridge Point (Sugar Land, TX): At 6’4″ 210, he could probably put on some more weight, but he was one of the quickest DL out there. He currently holds offers from OU, Mizzou, TCU, and Tech.
2020 DE Alec Bryant – Shadow Creek (Pearland, TX): Bryant is a pretty speedy edge rusher at 6’3″ 220lbs. He’s got a quick burst, which beat a number of guys in the 1-on-1’s. His film shows he could add some strength to his game, but he’s one to keep an eye on. He currently holds offers from Oregon State and Tulsa.
Oklahoma commit DT Kori Roberson had a tough day. I’m told that it because he is not used to these type of drills.
– Offensive Line
As I stated in the DL wrap-up, the one-on-one drills usually favor the DL. However, we saw our fair share of pancakes and physical play out of the OL.
2019 OT Kenyon Green – Atascocita (Atascocita, TX)
This one is difficult because Green left for a good portion after taking a headbutt to the nose, but I stand by this. Green measured in at 6’4″ 317lbs and was the only OL to not lose a battle. He showed quick feet and hands and then threw guys around with his strength. As I was told by a friend there, Kenyon Green is the guy you want there next year (while Tyler Johnson is the guy you want on the field after 4 years). He’d make an ideal RT. When he came back in, he continued to dominate in the final. If anything, he was a bit susceptible to the outside rush.
Here is he going up against one of the top DE at the camp in Nelson Ceaser
— Will Baizer (@WillBaizer) February 25, 2018
Texas is amongst Kenyon’s top schools along with A&M, OU, LSU, and Bama. He’ll be trying to make visits to each of those schools.
2019 OT Javonne Shepard – North Forest (Houston, TX): Shepard impressed me with his size at 6’6″ and 319lbs. He won the MVP of the OL and won a few good reps. He’s a guy who if you give him time to develop, he’ll pay off dividends. Shepard was unable to make it into Texas’ Jr Day last weekend, but that was due to difficulty with travel.
2019 OT Andrew Coker – Taylor (Katy, TX): He was the tallest of the big OL at 6’6.5″ and 307lbs. While he had trouble with Marcus Stripling (like everyone), he took care of business with everyone else.
2020 OT Chad Lindberg – Clear Creek (Clear Creek, TX): Right now, he’s my top 2020 OL. He has great size and strength and beat some of the top 2019 guys.
2021 OT Reuben Fatheree – Foster (Richmond, TX): I don’t think I saw Reuben lose. He was one of the biggest guys there, had a frame that you could put good weight on, and actually didn’t appear to be carrying bad weight (or too much of it). I can see why the Longhorns (who are stingy with offers) gave one to him so soon. The Longhorns also seem to be making huge strides here as well as he is very impressed with Texas.
2019 is going to be another rough year for RBs and LBs in the state. There are not many guys who jump off the screen and those that do are few and far between. To top it all off, the top 2019 RB Deondrick Glass in the Houston area was not present. And that’s why the MVP was…
– Running Backs & Linebackers
2020 RB Zach Evans – North Shore (Houston, TX)
Even with Glass there, I still think he would’ve still been my MVP. I already knew that Evans was a tough guy to bring down because he runs through arm tackles and bodies like nothing, but watch this…
— Will Baizer (@WillBaizer) February 25, 2018
On top of all of this, in the pouring, cold rain, he ran a 4.52-forty and a 3.91-shuttle. This is not hyperbole when I say that’s amazing. I’m interested in seeing what Jase McClellan can do, but Zach Evans is now my #1 RB in the state regardless of class.
Evans will be visiting UGA this week. Texas did a good job of selling the “keep Texans in Texas,” angle last week. Evans noted that at Texas, “…we’re a family.” Zach Evans really likes Texas and the staff has done a great job of fostering a relationship.
2019 OLB Zach Zimos – Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, TX)
Zimos was the most competent LB in coverage in the event. He could play the flats well, stopped crossing routes, and dropped back deep with ease.
— Will Baizer (@WillBaizer) February 25, 2018
Zimos currently has offers from Cal and Houston, but he’s been hearing from Texas a bit recently.
– Wide Receivers & Tight Ends
Texas is very deep at WR in the 2019 class and beyond. There were some big names who came out, but the one who impressed the most has flown under the radar so far…
2019 IWR Ainias Smith – Dulles (Sugar Land, TX)
Ainias was the official MVP for the WRs for the Houston regional, and I feel they got that one right. He may only be 5’9″ 181lbs, but he was the best WR there. He not only won the fastest man competition of the day, but he made big name guys like Bobby Wolfe and Marcus Banks look silly.
His routes were clean and many. His speed was unmatched. He has one offer and it’s from Georgia. He is underrated. I’d expect more offers.
Ainias told me he has been in contact with the Texas coaches and that he feels that is where his next big offer is coming from. He will be visiting in the Spring and for a camp over the summer, where he expects an offer. I’d expect it too.
2019 WR Arjei Henderson – Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, TX): Probably the most technical WR out there. He was receptive to coaching and absorbed it quickly. Texas is completely out of the picture in this recruitment.
2019 WR Corey Williams – Episcopal (Houston, TX): As I heard one of his relatives yell from the stands, “These five-stars can’t contain you!” They were right. I was hard pressed to find Williams being shut down. He was elusive and fun to watch. I don’t know if I’d expect a Texas offer, but he’ll blow up. SPC Pride!
2019 WR Genson Hooper – St. John’s (Houston, TX): More SPC Pride! Hooper is a track athlete and ran a 4.31, a 4.4, and a 4.45 on the forty. They officially took the 4.45. He has crazy length and a quick get off. He already holds offers from a couple big schools. I’d expect more.
2020 WR Troy Omeire – Fort Bend Austin (Sugar Land, TX): My favorite quote I heard from a coach about Troy was, “16 year olds shouldn’t already be built like that.” He was measured in at 6’3″ 200lbs, and looked every bit the part of a top level D1 athlete. He runs a 4.6 forty on top of it. He’s no longer a secret. While Troy looks the part, he could do to learn how to better use his size and strength to his advantage. I’m sure that will come with time.
2019 TE Austin Stogner – Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, TX)
I’m sorry Longhorn fans. I’m a big fan of the Sooners’ TE commit. He’s a personable and smart guy off the field, and the best TE in Texas in the 2019 cycle on the field. He was the biggest TE there, but still showed agility in blocking and outclasses DBs and LBs when he went downfield for catches. Every time I would turn around to watch one of his reps, it’d be highlight reel material stuff.
Now Texas looked else where partially due to his age, which is about 1.5 years beyond most guys in his grade. The general idea is that the younger a guy is the higher his ceiling can be.
Do I necessarily agree in this case? I think you take the best talent available.
2019 TE Logan Compton – IMG Academy (Brandenton, FL): Compton showed out in Houston. He displayed a good ability to block and made most of the plays down field, including this one…
Highlight from the Opening today🔥 pic.twitter.com/HhFipOAdvu
— Logan Compton💎🔱 (@logancompton80) February 26, 2018
Texas has picked up contact with Logan, and Corby Meekins has established a good relationship.
2019 TE Thomas Gordon – Strake Jesuit (Houston, TX) – NORTHWESTERN: Gordon was impressive in the pass catching portion of the day. He was able to use his size to his advantage, showed strength downfield, and made some great plays.
– Defensive Backs
This is where most of the talent was in this regional. Up and down the board there were guys who will be playing at the next level. It was tough to say who was the best on the day, but I’d have to say…
2019 CB Marcus Banks – Dekaney (Houston, TX)
Banks came in rocking a Texas A&M hoodie and burnt orange Texas gloves. It’s fair to say that he is pretty torn at this point.
Banks also put on quite the show, shutting down every receiver he faced with the exception of a few. I counted a total of 3 PBUs in the clips that I caught of him, including this one…
— Will Baizer (@WillBaizer) February 25, 2018
It’s been non-stop love coming from both Texas and A&M over the past few weeks. Getting him on campus last week was huge for Texas as they were able to sell him again on their program and build a relationship with his mother. This resulted in him postponing his commitment which probably wouldn’t have ended in Texas’ favor.
2019 CB Alex Hogan – Lamar (Houston, TX): Lamar sure does have a lot of athletes. Another good DB coming out of the factory showed his game in the Opening. He was consistently on top of his coverage and won the official MVP at DB. However, I don’t think Texas is going to go this route. He will make a big impact where ever he goes.
2019 S Jamal Morris – Fort Bend Bush (Richmond, TX): Morris passed the eye test during his visit to Texas. He also showed his stuff in coverage.
Texas is making moves in this recruitment, which would also help their case with Erick Young. Morris came to the event wearing Longhorns gloves and will be making an OV to Texas.
2019 CB Bobby Wolfe – Madison (Houston, TX) – Texas A&M: He is a big, strong, long, and fast. He plays and looks the part. Unfortunately, Texas isn’t in play here due to the great haul of the 2018 class.
2019 S Corien Azema – Langham Creek (Houston, TX): This guy is built like he took an air pump, stuck it into his shoulder muscles, and filled them up. He showed decent close man coverage ability, which for a safety is very good. He and Texas have been in contact, and he went to the Texas Jr Day last week.
2020 CB Dwight McGlothern – New Caney (New Caney, TX): As I’ve been reporting for about a week, Texas made a huuuuuge impression on McGlothern after his trip. He told me that a week after his trip, “I’m higher than that now. Coach Naivar has been showing me a lot of attention.” He came to the event rocking a Texas pull over. A&M is in the coversation as well, telling me, “They’re like the same thing,” but he was able to hang out with the players and get a better feel for the culture at A&M. This will be another tough battle, but I like Texas here.
2020 DB Jaylon Jones – Steele (Cibolo, TX): While his name might not be that well recognized, I’ve been told numerous times that Jaylon Jones is the next big thing to come out of Cibolo Steele since Caden Sterns. That’s awfully high praise, and Jones also looks the part. he is a tall and well built 6’2″ 190 and runs hip-to-hip with all his match-ups. While he was behind JT Woods (Baylor), JayVeon Cardwell (OK State), and Caden Sterns last season, he’ll be a guy I expect to get a lot of attention later.
– Jordan Whittington: This past weekend Jordan Whittington visited UCLA. Jordan has family in the area and this wasn’t the first time he has been to UCLA.
However, it was the first time that he was able to sit down with new Bruins’ coach, Chip Kelly. It sounds like Whittington came away impressed, “I did not expect the visit to have that kind of impact. I see his (Kelly’s) vision and what he he wants to do, so vividly”.
Specifically, Whittington talked about Kelly’s vision for the offense and how Jordan will fit into. Jordan also revealed that the UCLA staff made a strong case for what the UCLA network can do for him as a young man who has aspirations of getting into the music production world.
How much did the visit affect Whittington’s process moving forward? Enough that it now appears he will take a mid-week trip to Texas this week ahead of his scheduled commitment date. – (Super K)
– Tyler Johnson: As our Alex King first reported awhile back, Conroe Oak Ridge (TX) OT Tyler Johnson and his family plan to visit Texas this weekend.
— Alex King (@AKing_TFB) February 23, 2018
Johnson wasn’t able to visit Texas for their Junior Day due to being sick. He visited OU earlier that weekend and the Sooners have made an impression on Johnson and his family.
Texas has been thought of as the favorite for Johnson for awhile now. And getting him back on campus to meet with new OL coach Herb Hand is big. – (Andrew)
– Demani Richardson: Just caught up with the father of 2019 DB, Demani Richarson. As you know, Richardson recently committed to Texas A&M.
I’ll have a full write up on our conversation but wanted to put everyone at ease a bit by letting you know that the Richardson’s said they will absolutely visit Texas. Richardson has yet to visit Texas outside of camp attendances. – (Super K)